Trayvon Martin Update: Martin Family Attorney Says New Photos, Texts Are "Irrelevant Red Herrings"

By: CBS News / AP
By: CBS News / AP

(CBS/AP) -- New evidence including text messages and photos of slain Florida teen Trayvon Martin are "irrelevant red herrings" and "a desperate and pathetic attempt by the defense to pollute and sway the jury pool," an attorney for Martin's family reportedly said in a statement, according to the Orlando Sentinel.

Defense attorneys for George Zimmerman, the former neighborhood watch captain accused of fatally shooting Martin last year during a confrontation at a gated community in Sanford, Fla., released the new evidence ahead of a hearing that will determine whether or not they can be used at next month's trial.

The new evidence includes text messages from Martin's phone in which he discusses smoking marijuana, fighting, being suspended from school and getting kicked out of his house by his mother.

In a Nov. 22, 2011 text message, Martin described being in a fight with an opponent who he said "got mo hits cause in da 1stround he had me on da ground an I couldn't do ntn."

The Orlando Sentinel reports that the text messages Martin wrote about fighting could be damaging to the state, because Zimmerman described Martin as violent and aggressive the day he shot the teen. In October, the judge ruled that any history of violence might be relevant, reports the paper.

But the attorney for Martin's family, Benjamin Crump, predicted the judge would find them irrelevant and ban them at trial, reports the paper.

Several photos of Martin depict him extending his middle finger to the camera and blowing smoke, and other photos show what appear to be a handgun and a marijuana plant.

The evidence, some of which was made publicly available on Zimmerman's defense website, also includes e-mails from Zimmerman, prior to the shooting, describing crimes in the neighborhood.

Prosecutors have asked the judge not to allow Martin's drug use or other personal matters to be allowed at trial, but Zimmerman defense attorney Mark O'Mara wants the judge to deny the request, reports CBS Miami. He has filed a motion claiming that Martin was likely under the influence of marijuana when he died in February of 2012, reports the station.


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