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www.wmfd.com - The prosecution in the George Zimmerman trial will give their closing arguments Thursday after the defense rested its case Wednesday. }}" />

   
 
 
Defense Rests In George Zimmerman Trial

Story By: Larry Stine

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  Original Published: 7/11/2013  The prosecution in the George Zimmerman trial will give their closing arguments Thursday.   The defense is expected to go Friday.   Wednesday, George Zimmerman declined to testify.   Martin Savidge has more.   It's been the question dominating this entire trial, Would George Zimmerman take the stand?   And, Wednesday, Judge Debra Nelson asked hin directly.   "Have you made a decision to testify?" asked the judge. "After consulting with counsel, decided not to testify. Your decision?"   "Yes, your honor," answered Zimmerman.   "Are you making freely and voluntarily? she asked.   "Yes," he replied.   And with that, the defense rested.   Much of the day was spent on a use of force consultant who testified based on his analysis. Zimmerman was non-confrontational, lacking a "warrior mentality."   But it was a dummy that proved to be one of the strongest witnesses of the day.   It began when prosecutor John Guy grabbed a life-sized mennequin to show their version of events.   "We've got a model here, even has a belly button."   It was here, the state seemed to concede Trayvon Martin could have been on top of George Zimmerman, suggesting he was pulling away at the time he was shot.   Previously, the prosecution argued Zimmerman was on top.   "Would it be consistent with Trayvon Martin backing up and the defendant raised his gun?" asked prosecutor John Guy.   The demonstration brought jurors to their feet to get a better view.   Realing the potential impact, defense attorney Mark O'Mara seized the prop for his own demonstration.   "were the injuries on Mr. Zimmerman's back of his head consistent with someone doing this (pounds dummy three times) on cement?" asked O'Mara.   The defense concluded by calling two emotional witnesses.   The first, a young mother who described a home invastion in the same neighborhood where the shooting happened, when she had to lock herself in her son's room.   "I was locked in my son's bedroom, someone was shaking the doorknob. trying to get in," said Olivia Bertalan. "I was sitting there with rusty scissors in one hand and my son in the other."   She was not only a character witness for the defense, explaining how Zimmerman had counseled her after that break-in, but her testimony also painted a picture of a neighborhood on alert after previous crimes.   Then came Zimmerman's father, who answered what has become a mantra for both the defense and prosecution, whose voice was screaming for help the night Martin died?   "Absolutely," said Robert Zimmerman Sr. "That's my son George."   And, in a move many court watchers anticipated, the prosection asked the judge for lesser charges to be included, manslaughter and aggravated assault.   The judge will make that decision Thursday, and whether "stand your ground" will be included in the jury instructions.   Closing arguments are expected Thursday as well.
   
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