The Orlando Sentinel reports that several witnesses have changed their stories from the initial interviews, mostly (but not completely) to the detriment of George Zimmerman:
Evidence released last week in the second-degree-murder case against George Zimmerman shows four key witnesses made major changes in what they say they saw and heard the night he fatally shot 17-year-old Trayvon Martin in Sanford.
Three changed their stories in ways that may damage Zimmerman. A fourth abandoned her initial story, that she saw one person chasing another. Now, she says, she saw a single figure running.
They were reinterviewed in mid-March, after Sanford police handed the case off to State Attorney Norm Wolfinger. The case changed hands again when Gov. Rick Scott passed it on to a special prosecutor. Zimmerman was arrested April 11 on a charge of second-degree murder.
So … witnesses change their recollections in ways which hurt Zimmerman after the public outcry, charges of racism, death threats against Zimmerman, marches, and public protests in the town in which the shooting took place.
One of the key witness changes was to Martin being on top punching Zimmerman Mixed-Martial Arts style:
This witness lived a few feet from where Trayvon and Zimmerman had their fight. On the night of the shooting, he told Serino he saw a black man on top of a lighter-skinned man “just throwing down blows on the guy, MMA-style,” a reference to mixed martial arts.
He also said the one calling for help was “the one being beat up,” a reference to Zimmerman.
But three weeks later, when he was interviewed by an FDLE agent, the man said he was no longer sure which one called for help.
“I truly can’t tell who, after thinking about it, was yelling for help just because it was so dark out on that sidewalk,” he said.
He also said he was no longer sure Trayvon was throwing punches. The teenager may have simply been keeping Zimmerman pinned to the ground, he said.
He did not equivocate, though, about who was on top.
“The black guy was on top,” he said.
I think this hurts the prosecution tremendously. Remember, the prosecution needs to prove the case beyond a reasonable doubt. Now key witnesses have doubts.
We don’t know all the evidence, so I can’t say the prosecution can’t prove that a crime was committed beyond a reasonable doubt, but the likelihood of a conviction by a truly neutral jury appears doubtful based on what currently is publicy known.
Update: MSNBC has gone silent, reports Noah Rothman at Mediaite:
n March and April, MSNBC’s primetime hosts ran with nearly wall-to-wall coverage of the killing of Florida teen Trayvon Martin. They regularly suggested that the lack of national interest in the case was worthy of outrage. Last week, when an avalanche of new evidence favorable to George Zimmerman came to light, MSNBC’s primetime lineup didn’t just bury the story, they didn’t mention Martin or Zimmerman once the week that news broke according to media monitoring service TV Eyes.