ABC News has learned from multiple sources that the lead homicide detective in the shooting of Trayvon Martin, Investigator Chris Serino, recommended that neighborhood watch captain George Zimmerman be charged with manslaughter the night of the shooting. However, he was instructed to not press charges because the state attorney’s office determined there wasn’t enough evidence to lead to a conviction.
Serino filed an affidavit on Feb. 26, the night that Martin was shot and killed by Zimmerman, which stated he was unconvinced Zimmerman’s version of events.
What the entire thing hinges on, really, is how did the confrontation/altercation start? According to Zimmerman, he was returning to his truck when Martin jumped him from behind. According to Martin’s girlfriend, who was on the phone with him at the time, Martin had been trying to lose a creepy dude who was following him. He thought he’d lost him when she heard Trayvon ask “Why are you following me?” and another male voice respond “What are you doing here?”; she then heard shoving as the altercation started, before Martin’s Bluetooth headset hit the ground and the call disconnected.
So, who was the aggressor, and who was ‘standing his ground’? Don’t be mistaken, Martin had as much right under that law to defend himself as Zimmerman had, depending on who started the confrontation. That doesn’t mean ‘who threw the first punch’, as most of us think about self-defense claims. There is no mention of that in the law. It means who was going about his lawful business when he was threatened by another. To qualify for deadly force, that individual must reasonably believe the threat to be one of imminent death or great bodily harm.
This could all come down to who the grand jury believes, the man with the gun or the girlfriend with the phone.