This won't make an already complicated story any simpler: Four eyewitnesses to George Zimmerman's shooting of Trayvon Martin have backed away from, or completely changed what they said earlier.
"Three changed their stories in ways that may damage Zimmerman," according to The Orlando Sentinel's Rene Stutzman and Jeff Weiner. "A fourth abandoned her initial story, that she saw one person chasing another. Now, she says, she saw a single figure running."
The changing witness accounts are part of a bundle of evidence that the prosecution team released last week. Here's how the four witnesses accounts changed, per Stutzman and Weiner:
Witness 2 first said she saw two figures running about 10 feet apart and saw a fistfight. In her second interview she said: "I couldn't tell you if it was a man, a woman, a kid, black or white. I couldn't tell you because it was dark and because I didn't have my contacts on or glasses. … I just know I saw a person out there."
Witness 12 first said she saw two people on the ground and wasn't sure who was on top. She changed that in her second interview, saying that "Zimmerman was definitely on top because of his size."
Witness 6 first said he saw a black man "just throwing down blows on the guy, MMA-style," and that Zimmerman was the one calling for help. He's since changed that saying that he's not sure who was crying out for help.
Witness 13 saw Zimmerman with blood on the back of his head that night, and that Zimmerman told him that Martin "was beating up on me, so I had to shoot him" and to call his wife. He later added, that Zimmerman's demeanor was "not like 'I can't believe I just shot someone!' — it was more like, 'Just tell my wife I shot somebody…,' like it was nothing."
As we should know by now, the changes in these witnesses testimonies, the video of Martin buying Skittles and iced tea, or the evidence that Martin had THC in his system (no, having THC in your system does not make your death any more warranted), or the new photos (which keep cropping up) of Zimmerman on the night of the killing in no way definitively point to Zimmerman's guilt or innocence. That will be decided in court. Of course, that won't stop us from being riveted to every twist and turn of this case until a jury reaches a verdict.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.