Witness contradicts self-defense claim in teen's shooting

Published On: Mar 16 2012 10:31:21 AM EDT
Updated On: Oct 05 2012 06:51:18 PM EDT

The family of a Miami teenager who was shot and killed by a neighborhood watchman in Central Florida is demanding justice.

SANFORD, Fla. -

The family of a Miami teenager who was shot and killed by a neighborhood watchman in Central Florida is demanding justice as new information surfaces from witnesses about the moments before the shooting.

Trayvon Martin, 17, was visiting family members in Sanford last month. He was walking home from a store with a drink and a bag of Skittles on Feb. 26, when George Zimmerman, 28, the leader of the neighborhood watch, confronted him, police said. A 911 dispatcher told Zimmerman not to confront the teen, but by the time police arrived, Martin was dead.

Zimmerman said he shot the teen in self-defense.

The teen's family expressed outrage Friday after two women came forward, saying they heard what happened the night Martin was shot.

"I'm so very hurt by this whole situation. It's a nightmare," said Martin's mother, Sybrina Fulton. "I don't understand why this man has not been arrested, at least charged, and let a judge and jury decide if he's guilty."

But, witness Mary Cutcher said she heard the sound of a child crying for help, followed by a gunshot.

"We were in the kitchen. I heard the crying. It was a little boy. As soon as the gun went off, the crying stopped," said Cutcher. "Therefore, it tells me it was not Zimmerman crying."

Cutcher said that after hearing the shot, she went outside and found Zimmerman over Martin's body, touching it.

"He was shot in the chest, and he was face-down," Cutcher said. "Therefore, he was not helping the kid."

Police said they had no probable cause to arrest Zimmerman after the shooting.

"I feel it was not self-defense," Cutcher said.

"Our son was murdered, and we miss him," said the boy's father, Tracy Martin. "He was murdered, and it's a shame that he's not getting any justice. We're not, as a family, getting any closure. We're not getting any answers."

Zimmerman's father, Robert Zimmerman, said his son did not instigate the encounter and is not racist. Robert Zimmerman delivered a letter to the Orlando Sentinel on Thursday, saying the way his son is being depicted in the media is cruel and misleading. He also said his son has received death threats and moved out of his home.

The letter says George Zimmerman is Hispanic and grew up in a multiracial family, so "he would be the last to discriminate."

The case has been turned over to the State Attorney's Office for further investigation.

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