SANFORD, Fla. – During his opening statement in the case of Florida v. George Zimmerman Monday, Assistant State Attorney John Guy linked Trayvon Martin to the screaming that was heard on one 9-1-1 telephone call from a witness.
There were some 40 seconds of screams heard on the tape, and a witness when police arrived documented how he heard one man screaming while another man, a black man in a hoodie, was on top of him and beating him.
"You will hear screaming in the background," said Guy, who added, "Trayvon Martin was silenced immediately when the bullet fired passed through his heart."
The juxtaposition of the comment about screaming and Martin's "silence" may have been intended to link the two in the minds of jurors, a maneuver used often by defense attorneys to create "reasonable doubt."
But in his opening for the defense attorney Don West told the jurors that one thing all the witnesses could agree on was that they all heard "the screams of someone in a life-threatening situation needing desperately for someone to come to their assistance."
West then introduced the prior statements of Witness No. 6, identified as John Good. Good had told the police immediately after the shooting, he saw a "black man in a black hoodie on top of either a white guy … or an Hispanic guy in a red sweater on the ground yelling out help."
According to Good's police statement, the black man on top was "throwing down blows on the guy MMA [mixed martial arts] style."
West clarified that this was a standard MMA position, what Good called "ground and pound." It was clear that Good’s testimony will be critical going forward.
"You can hear the cries for help until the moment of the shot," West clarified Guy's statement. "Then there are no more cries for help. Why would there be?"
West showed the jury numerous photos of a bloody Zimmerman post-beating.
"What the evidence will show is that George Zimmerman suffered the most traumatic event of his life," said West.
Guy had dropped the F-bomb in the very first word of his opening statement. "F***ing punks," Guy said dramatically, attempting to quote George Zimmerman's garbled comment to the police dispatcher on the night he shot Martin in February 2012.
A year or so ago, CNN and other media members attempted to convince America that the indecipherable word in question was "coons."
At the time, not everyone was on board for that. Liberal media pundit Jon Stewart said on his show what most dispassionate observers were thinking of the utterance in question, "That doesn't sound like a word at all!"
Later on this opening day, prosecution witness Sean Noffke, the dispatcher who handled Zimmerman's call on the night of the shooting, repeatedly told defense attorney Mark O'Mara on cross examination that he sensed no hostility in Zimmerman's call.
Noffke said he did not at all hear the anger and bitterness Guy has imputed to Zimmerman through his use of profanity. Despite being a prosecution witness, Noffke's testimony said he heard nothing in Zimmerman's call that gave him cause for concern.
Guy claimed Zimmerman "did not shoot Trayvon Martin because he had to. He shot him for the worst of all reasons – because he wanted to."
But even Guy had to admit that Martin was straddling Zimmerman, that Zimmerman did get his nose bashed and his head cut open, but Guy tried to undo the impact of the evidence by minimizing the severity of Zimmerman's wounds.
"That's when he began to spin that tangled web of lies," Guy said of the bloodied and rattled Zimmerman when questioned by the police within a minute of the shooting.
Jack Cashill, who has authored "Deconstructing Obama," "First Strike," "Hoodwinked," "Officer's Oath" and others, currently is writing a book on the Zimmerman case, called "If I Had A Son," to be released after the trial.