05-22-2018  5:01 am      •     
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NEWS BRIEFS

Raina Croff to Speak at Architectural Heritage Center

'When the Landmarks are Gone: Older African Americans, Place, and Change in N/NE Portland’ describes SHARP Walking Program ...

Portland Playhouse Presents August Wilson’s ‘Fences’ Through June 10

May 20 performance will include discussion on mental health; June 10 performance will be followed by discussion of fatherhood ...

Peggy Houston-Shivers Presents Benefit Concert for Allen Temple CME

Concert to take place May 20 at Maranatha Church ...

Family Friendly Talent Show, May 18

Family Fun Night series continues at Matt Dishman Community Center ...

3 killed in Vancouver vehicle crash identified

VANCOUVER, Wash. (AP) — The Clark County Medical's Examiner's Office has identified three men killed in a vehicle crash in Vancouver.The Oregonian/OregonLive reports 24-year-old Tabo Naveta, 27-year-old Akiki Kintin and 27-year-old Kenson Cheipot, all from Vancouver, died from injuries...

Springfield settles lawsuit with fired dispatcher for K

EUGENE, Ore. (AP) — The city of Springfield has agreed to pay ,000 to settle a 2014 lawsuit by a dispatcher who said she was wrongly fired after accusing officers of inappropriate conduct.The Register-Guard reported Sunday that a joint statement from the city and the former dispatcher,...

3 killed in Vancouver vehicle crash identified

VANCOUVER, Wash. (AP) — The Clark County Medical's Examiner's Office has identified three men killed in a vehicle crash in Vancouver.The Oregonian/OregonLive reports 24-year-old Tabo Naveta, 27-year-old Akiki Kintin and 27-year-old Kenson Cheipot, all from Vancouver, died from injuries...

Seattle, family reach M settlement for deadly crash

SEATTLE (AP) — The family of a couple killed in 2013 by a drunk driver has settled with the city of Seattle for million.KOMO-TV reported Monday that the family of Dennis and Judy Schulte settled with the city last month.Prosecutors say Mark Mullan was drunk when his pickup hit the...

OPINION

Golfing While Black Is Not a Crime

Grandview Golf Club asks five Black women to leave for golfing too slow ...

Discovering the Best of Black America in 2018

Dr. Benjamin F. Chavis discusses the DTU Journalism Fellowship & Scholarship Program ...

Will Israel’s Likud Party Ever Respect the Rights of Palestinians?

Bill Fletcher weighs in on the precarious future of the two-state solution between the Israeli government and the Palestinian people ...

The Future of Medicinal Marijuana in Pets

Dr. Jasmine Streeter says CBD-derived products show beneficial therapeutic benefits for pets ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Black man ordered to pay [scripts/homepage/home.php],000 for racist campus graffiti

ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) — A former Eastern Michigan University student who admitted to painting racist graffiti on campus has been ordered to pay more than [scripts/homepage/home.php],000 in restitution.The Ann Arbor News reports 29-year-old Eddie Curlin learned his punishment Monday after earlier pleading guilty to...

China sentences Tibetan activist to 5 years for separatism

BEIJING (AP) — A Chinese judge sentenced a Tibetan shopkeeper to five years in prison on Tuesday for inciting separatism, based on his comments in a New York Times documentary in which the man talked about the erosion of his culture and language in the tightly secured region.Tashi Wangchuk's...

Voters choose nominees in Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky, Texas

ATLANTA (AP) — Four states will cast ballots Tuesday as the 2018 midterm elections take shape. Voters in Arkansas, Georgia and Kentucky hold primaries, while Texans settle several primary runoffs after their first round of voting in March. Some noteworthy story lines:IN THIS #METOO MIDTERM,...

ENTERTAINMENT

Sony buys most of EMI Music, to spend B on image sensors

TOKYO (AP) — Electronics and entertainment company Sony Corp. said Tuesday it plans to spend [scripts/homepage/home.php].3 billion acquiring an additional 60 percent stake in EMI Music Publishing, home to the Motown catalog and contemporary artists like Kanye West, Alicia Keys and Pharrell Williams.Sony already owns...

At Cannes, a #MeToo upheaval up and down the Croisette

CANNES, France (AP) — Fifty years after filmmakers shut down the Cannes Film Festival, the prestigious Cote d'Azur extravaganza was again shook by upheaval.From the start to the finish, the 71st Cannes was dominated by protest and petition for gender equality, culminating in the...

Despite Spotify change, R. Kelly's streams still intact

NEW YORK (AP) — Streaming numbers for R. Kelly have remained intact a week after Spotify announced it had removed the R&B singer's music from its playlists, citing its new policy on hate content and hateful conduct.Spotify made the bold declaration on May 10, but R. Kelly's streaming...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

All tied up: LeBron's 44 helps Cavs even series with Celtics

CLEVELAND (AP) — LeBron James knows the path to the NBA Finals better than anyone in today's game.And...

Experts disclose new details about 300-year-old shipwreck

BOSTON (AP) — A Spanish galleon laden with gold that sank to the bottom of the Caribbean off the coast of...

Palestinians ask ICC for 'immediate' probe against Israel

THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) — Calling it a "historic step" toward justice, the Palestinian foreign minister...

Economists see potential nightmare in new Italian government

MILAN (AP) — The prospect of a populist government in Italy, the eurozone's third-largest economy, has...

The Latest: Explosion kills 16 in Afghan city of Kandahar

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — The Latest on developments in Afghanistan (all times local):4 p.m.An Afghan...

Syrian army, police celebrate recapturing all of Damascus

BEIRUT (AP) — Syrian government forces raised their flag over the Yarmouk Palestinian camp in Damascus on...

By Michael Pearson CNN


George Zimmerman's defense left court-watchers waiting until the last minute Wednesday, finishing with their last witnesses but leaving open the possibility that the former neighborhood watch volunteer might still testify in his own defense in the shooting of Trayvon Martin.

The final witness, pending Zimmerman's decision, was the defendant's father, Robert Zimmerman, who testified that it was his son who was screaming on the infamous 911 recording of the fatal altercation that claimed the 17-year-old Martin's life in 2012.

Robert Zimmerman joined his wife, Gladys, in testifying that they believe it was their son George.

By contrast, Trayvon Martin's mother, Sybrina Fulton, said she was "absolutely" certain that the panicked voice was that of her son Trayvon, with the late teenager's brother, Jahvaris Fulton, making a similar determination.

The defense team, which consumed most of the day on testimony from a "use-of-force" expert, also called one of Zimmerman's neighbors -- Olivia Bertalan -- who spoke of being appreciative of Zimmerman's support after a home invasion at her house.

In one memorable moment Wednesday, attorneys from both sides grappled with a foam dummy on the floor of a Florida courtroom, working to demonstrate to rapt jurors their competing versions of what happened the rainy 2012 night Trayvon Martin died in an altercation with George Zimmerman.

Zimmerman, 29, is accused of second-degree murder in the February 26, 2012, death of Martin, a 17-year-old from Miami who was staying with his father in Zimmerman's Sanford, Florida, neighborhood.

Defense attorneys argue Zimmerman shot Martin in self-defense after the Miami teenager charged him. Prosecutors argue he followed Martin through his neighborhood and shot him without provocation.

To that end, Assistant State Attorney John Guy brought out the dummy in an effort to demonstrate that it would have been difficult for Zimmerman to retrieve his handgun from his pocket with Martin straddling him, as defense attorneys have argued was the case.

The fatal gunshot, Guy reminded defense witness Dennis Root, was fired at a 90-degree angle into Martin's body.

"Wouldn't that be consistent with Travyon Martin getting off of George Zimmerman and George Zimmerman raising the gun and firing it?" Guy asked Root, a use-of-force expert.

"It could be consistent with any kind of movement ... We weren't there so the info that we have is George Zimmerman's statement," he said.

Later, defense attorney Mark O'Mara straddled the dummy himself, pounding the back of its head against the carpeted courtroom floor, demonstrating how he says Martin gave him the head wounds seen in police photographs from the night of the shooting.

He later asked Root -- a former police officer with extensive training in firearms and self-defense -- if it would have been possible for Zimmerman to reach around Martin's body to get at a gun located near his hip.

"Yes, sir," Root replied, minutes before Judge Debra Nelson called a lunch break.

Earlier, Root testified the apparent fight between Zimmerman and Martin went on for a relatively long time -- some 40 seconds -- and was clearly marked by a high level of fear and anxiety.

"I have personally sat there and timed it myself, where it is about 40 seconds of time. That's a very long time to be involved in any type of physical altercation," Root said.

"We have a golden rule," he told defense attorney Mark O'Mara. "If you have not successfully completed the fight, if you have not won the fight in 30 seconds, change tactics, because the tactics you are using are not working."

The testimony came as the effort to defend George Zimmerman against murder charges in the 2012 shooting death of Martin neared its end Wednesday. O'Mara said Wednesday afternoon that the defense would have two more witnesses after Root finishes his testimony.

The defense team offered no indication whether the onetime neighborhood watch volunteer himself would testify before they wrap up their case, which is expected Wednesday. A prosecution rebuttal could follow.

At the beginning of the afternoon session, Nelson questioned Zimmerman -- over the repeated objection of defense attorney Don West -- on whether he had decided to testify. He said that he had not. When asked how long it might be before he decides, Zimmerman said, "Depends on how long the recesses are."

The closely watched trial follows a national debate over the role of guns and race sparked by the death of Martin, a Miami teenager who was staying with his father in Zimmerman's Sanford, Florida, neighborhood when he died.

Zimmerman, who is Hispanic, has acknowledged shooting Martin, but has said he did so in self-defense after Martin attacked him.

Martin supporters argued Zimmerman took advantage of what they considered loose Florida gun laws to racially profile and shoot down an unarmed African-American teenager without provocation.

The incident, inflamed by a lengthy delay before charges were filed against Zimmerman, provoked protests nationwide.

Before Wednesday's testimony, Nelson dealt two blows to Zimmerman's defense, ruling they could not introduce pictures and text messages from Martin's phone or present during testimony a three-dimensional computer re-enactment of how the defense believes the altercation played out.

The photos and text messages recovered from Martin's phone include apparent references to efforts to buy a gun, as well as discussion of a fight. They won't be seen by jurors.

However, it appears that the animation could still be used during closing arguments.

The defense said Tuesday that the animation would help the jury understand how the confrontation between Martin and Zimmerman unfolded. The prosecution argued the animated re-enactment makes assumptions, and it's not based on evidence in the case.

HLN's Graham Winch, Jonathan Anker and Anna Lanfreschi and CNN's John Couwels and Greg Botelho contributed to this report.

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