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ABC: Zimmerman's Injuries Detailed in Trayvon Martin Case

9:29 AM, May 16, 2012   |    comments
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George Zimmerman, the volunteer neighborhood watchman from Florida charged in the killing of unarmed black teen Trayvon Martin, could face federal hate crime charges, WFTV out of Orlando reports.

If Zimmerman, now charged with second-degree murder in the Feb. 26 shooting death, is convicted of a hate crime, he could face the death penalty. The Justice Department says it has been investigating all aspects of this case, including the question of hate crime charges, since earlier this year.

Late Tuesday, ABC News reported it had the medical report detailing injuries Zimmerman reportedly suffered in a struggle with Trayvon.

Update at 7:08 p.m. ET: ABC News reports that it has obtained a copy of the three-page medical report listing injuries George Zimmerman allegedly suffered during his confrontation with Trayvon Martin.

On the day after the Feb. 26 killing, Zimmerman's family doctor reported that he had suffered a "closed fracture" of his nose, two black eyes, two lacerations to the back of his head and a minor back injury, ABC says.

Zimmerman, 28, who was patrolling his Stanford, Fla., neighborhood, claimed he shot Trayvon in self-defense after the 17-year-old confronted him, punched him in the face and bashed his head on the sidewalk. Police 911 recordings indicate he disobeyed instructions to stay in his vehicle after reporting a person in a hooded sweatshirt who looked suspicious.

The medical report is among the evidence the special prosecutor filed Monday ahead of Zimmerman's trial.

Update at 12:28 p.m. ET: USA TODAY's Kevin Johnson reports the Justice Department has been investigating all aspects of Trayvon's shooting since March -- from whether the Sanford police acted properly to whether hate crime charges should be brought against Zimmerman.

"The independent investigation remains ongoing, and we continue to provide support and resources to the local prosecution,'' Justice spokesman Wyn Hornbuckle said Tuesday.

Update at 12:10 p.m. ET: The state of Florida has made public its documents that lay out the case against Zimmerman, USA TODAY's Marison Bello reports.

The 8 pages of documents include witnesses who were interviewed. The names of many witnesses were withheld, including those who called 911 th enight of the shooting. The documents also list Sanford police officers, paramedics and others interviewed or involved in gathering evidence.

While the police reports, videotapes and other documents were released to Zimmerman's attorney, there were not released to the public.

Zimmerman profiled and stalked Martin before allegedly shooting and killing him Feb. 26, state prosecutors have said, so the FBI is looking into charging Zimmerman with a hate crime, the television station reports.

Zimmerman has said he acted in self-defense.

If Zimmerman is convicted of the second-degree murder charge, he could face life in prison, but a hate crime charge could mean he would face the death penalty, WFTV reports.

FBI representatives are interviewing residents of Zimmerman's neighorhood in Sanford, Fla., looking for evidence of a hate crime, according to WFTV.

WFTV legal analyst Bill Sheaffer said, "What the government would have to prove is that Mr. Zimmerman acted out of hatred toward African Americans. That's why he came into contact with him. That's why he shot and killed him."

Zimmerman lawyer Mark O'Mara tells WKMG television out of Orlando that he received a threat Monday. He said police officers were at his office investigationg, WKMG reports.

No further details were available.

Melanie Eversley, USA TODAY

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