And I am sure there may be many parts to come. For me, this case comes down to whether we have manslaughter or second degree murder. How have I come to my conclusion?
Look, it is a lot easier in searching for the truth to just take one person's side over another - but that is not how things work in the real world. People have difference perceptions of reality, make mistakes, get confused, fill in gaps with the perceived truth or just lie. (I was probably harsh on John Good in earlier posts for calling him a liar.)
What I do at least is look at what everyone has said, and realize that there is truth, false perceptions, and deceit in what they could be seeing. There is also internal biases. I am not talking about racial bias, but if everyone is approaching the situation from the stand point that it is self defense, you are going to question witnesses (and maybe lead a little) to that conclusion. It is not uncommon, as anyone writing a thesis will tell you. You take that, along with evidence at the scene, additional evidence, and common sense to try to re-enact what exactly happened. Is it a perfect science? No.
I start with certain facts that I believe are true beyond a reasonable doubt. The first one I believe is that the altercation began close to where Martin's phone is found. Why is that? Well, his ear buds are close to his body (which is where the part he speaks into is). Jeantel heard wet grass, which basically means she heard the phone land in the grass and people fighting in the grass, and then the phone disconnects. During the initial moments of the confrontation, the phone becomes disconnected with the earbuds (the thump that Jeantel hears). The thump also comes after the first exchange between the individuals. I have no doubt it was the first physical contact which caused the phone to fall. Thus, that is where the altercation started. And, where is that? Just to the south of Martin's body.
What also bolsters this fact is that Zimmerman's flashlight is found next to Martin's body. On the call with dispatch, Zimmerman has the flashlight in his hand because he is trying to get it to work (you can hear the smacking and shaking). In all likelihood, Zimmerman is going to drop the flashlight the minute the altercation begins or he would have used it as a weapon. This convinces me that the physical altercation began much further south than Zimmerman claims. Zimmerman went down the T to look for Martin. (Interesting aside, Zimmerman says the flashlight did not work, despite his smacking of it. I tend to believe that even that Detective Serino said he got the flashlight to work after a few smacks. I don't know if Serino is being truthful about that - cops trick.)
Why do I think Zimmerman went down the T. He should have been able to make it back to his car in time? He also told dispatch to have police call him when they arrive. And, the whole searching for an address is ridiculous. Why would you go to another street to give the police an address not where your vehicle is parked? If Zimmerman was going to wait there for police, he just would have but he did not. And, Zimmerman claims he made it to that street but never bothered to give an address. That whole part is just plain stupid - not denying that people do stupid things. Zimmerman claims he was going back to his vehicle because Martin already got away. Okay, but you know Martin went down the T and if you could not see him there, then at that point, you know he got away - so why continue to the circle, for an address you never give out? Because, the address thing is ridiculous.
Now, I have the confrontation between the two beginning near Martin's phone. I actually believe that Martin punched Zimmerman - but why would he do that. Why would Martin engage a person he was trying to flee from earlier? Zimmerman had his gun pulled and Martin was torn in a split second between fight or flight and he chose the former.
Some may argue that there is no evidence that Zimmerman had his gun out. No direct evidence, but definitely circumstantial evidence. Zimmerman's flashlight is not working and he is following a person he believes to be suspicious who he also claimed had his hand in his waistband (suggesting he has a gun). Zimmerman could have been making up the waistband line because he wanted to add credibility to his claim that Martin was suspicious or Martin put his hand in his waistband to scare Zimmerman, the man who he thought was following him.
In one of his interviews, Zimmerman claims he forgot all about his gun until it became exposed during the scuffle. That is ridiculous. No one who carries a concealed firearm with an active round to go to Target is going to forget he had it on him. Further, I am sure, beyond a reasonable doubt, that Zimmerman's account of how the gun became exposed is false. If Martin is straddling you and smashing you head, he has to be sitting on your chest in order to get any leverage. He cannot see the gun on Zimmerman's hip and Zimmerman should not be able to access it because Martin's leg is in the way. Also, Martin would be so focused on hovering over you and smashing Zimmerman's head that he is not going to look toward your thigh. And, I doubt that his jacket and shirt, which was tucked in, could move up all that much. even if he was squirming.
Why didn't Zimmerman shoot Martin the second he made a move towards him? Zimmerman was not expecting Martin to punch him. A punch that probably caused Zimmerman to stumble but not fall. Zimmerman froze which is not that uncommon (this may help make it manslaughter instead of 2nd degree murder). Martin is now going for the gun, which is why Bahadoor sees the two figures standing with arms flailing about. The whole flailing of arms is the two struggling for the gun. Other witnesses spoke of flailing.
Further proof that Martin is fighting to disarm Zimmerman is the lack of injury to Martin or defensive wounds on Zimmerman. Zimmerman is not letting go of the gun for anything, so he basically has one arm un-free, and probably both for additional leverage. What are Zimmerman's arms allegedly doing when Martin is on top of him punching him and smashing his head - they are not protecting his face, they are not taking side punches at Martin, or even grabbing him and trying to roll over. Even when they get to the ground, Zimmerman will not let go of the gun. Zimmerman eventually uses his weight to get enough leverage on Martin to shoot him - and he shot to kill, just like the police are taught. (This all goes to the wanna-be cop theory.)
Since Zimmerman had his gun out and Martin is struggling for his life, Martin is the one screaming for help. I have no doubt that Martin is the one screaming for help because the shouts stop immediately after the gun goes off. If Zimmerman was screaming and shot Martin during his hysteria (because those scream demonstrate hysteria), Zimmerman would continue to make some noise, especially if Martin landed on top of him as he should have. Zimmerman conveniently has no explanation for how he got out from an individual who was straddling him.
Okay, that is my brief belief of what happened - I also think it comports with most of the evidence. Yes, I am sure people will find holes and I can too - but in further posts I will explain them, especially why Lauer and Manalo think the struggle was going from north to south from the intersection of the T. (Hint: It has to do with acoustics and the fact that both live on end units)