Mark O’Mara, the attorney for George Zimmerman, has announced that he may not be relying only on the “Stand Your Ground” Defense for George Zimmerman. Specifically, Mr. O’Mara said:
“ Facts do not seem to support a stand your ground case,”
“I think the facts suggest in this case that what probably happened was my client was reacting to having his nose broken
This is a major revelation in the case by Zimmerman’s attorney. The law under Chapter 776 of the Florida Statutes, entitled “Justifiable use of Force” provides that :
“Use of force in defense of person. 776.012—A person is justified in using force, except deadly force, against another when and to the extent that the person reasonably believes that such conduct is necessary to defend himself or herself or another against the other’s imminent use of unlawful force. However, a person is justified in the use of deadly force and does not have a duty to retreat if:
He or she reasonably believes that such force is necessary to prevent imminent death or great bodily harm to himself or herself or another or to prevent the imminent commission of a forcible felony;
Given the story George Zimmerman has told regarding his encounter with Trayvon Martin, it might be hard to convince a jury that killing Trayvon Martin was necessary to prevent imminent death or great bodily harm. Even if George Zimmerman’s nose was broken by a punch from Trayvon Martin, the lack of blood and swelling would suggest that there was no reasonable expectation of “imminent death” or “great bodily harm.” O’Mara has reported that instead of the “Stand your Ground” law, he may rely upon a simple “self-defense” argument to justify the shooting of an unarmed teen by George Zimmerman.
Section 782.02 of Florida Statutes states that the use of deadly force is justified when a person is resisting any attempt to murder such person or to commit any felony upon him …”
Section 784.03 entitled “Battery; felony battery” provides :
“(1)(a) The offense of battery occurs when a person:
1. Actually and intentionally touches or strikes another person against the will of the other; or
2. Intentionally causes bodily harm to another person.
Thus if George Zimmerman is successful in convincing a jury that Trayvon Martin hit him in the face, Zimmerman may easily convince the jury that Martin committed the offense of a battery, which is a felony, and thus Zimmerman was justified in use of deadly force. Of course the prosecution would argue that Martin was justified in committing the battery on Zimmerman, as Zimmerman was chasing Martin. The problem is that as the jury is asked to consider the defense of Martin for committing the battery on Zimmerman, the express wording of the statutes do not contemplate the facts of this case. Thus the jury could feel that Martin was justified in committing the battery against Zimmerman, but still acquit Zimmerman of the charges of manslaughter due to an assertion of “self-defense.” Thus O’Mara may be opting for an easier defense for Zimmerman, than the “Stand Your Ground” law.