Florida prosecutors mistakenly released a trove of evidence in the case of George Zimmerman, including a photo of Trayvon Martin's body after he was shot to death by the neighborhood watchman.
Evidence that was supposed to be only for the eyes of the lawyers and judge - at least throughout the discovery process - was included in documents sent to several media outlets. In addition to the photo, prosecutors released college transcripts that showed Zimmerman received a D in a criminal justice course at Seminole State College. Zimmerman was on academic probation at the school when he was expelled in the wake of the Feb. 26 shooting, according to the New York Daily News.
In addition to the college grades, Zimmerman's report card was in the errant document dump. Those report cards showed he struggled with math, science and Spanish.
The documents were accidentally included in supplemental discovery records distributed by special prosecutor Angela Corey’s office. Several media outlets paid fees to have discovery materials sent to them, but the transcripts and the copy of a photo, taken by a witness right after the shooting, were supposed to be confidential.
After the material was emailed, a Corey aide sent an e-mail to reporters noting that a “photo depicting the killing of a person” was “confidential and exempt,” based on state law.
Zimmerman, who has pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder and is free on $1 million bond, is hoping a hearing on whether the shooting was legal under Florida’s controversial “Stand Your Ground” law will clear him.
Martin was killed while walking unarmed through a gated community in Sanford, Fla. Zimmerman, a neighborhood watch volunteer, claims he was attacked by Martin and shot him with his licensed gun while in fear for his life.
Sanford released Zimmerman, but he was charged 44 days later by a special prosecutor after a several rallies and protests.