On Tuesday afternoon, members of the jury at the trial of George Zimmerman heard testimony from Jacksonville-based medical examiner Dr. Valerie Rao.
Dr. Rao said on the stand that the injuries Zimmerman suffered on the night of the shooting "were not life threatening... very insignificant." She noted that the cuts on Zimmerman's head did not require stitches and were consistent with being struck against the concrete sidewalk just once.
Zimmerman's defense has claimed that Trayvon Martin attacked Zimmerman on the night of the shooting. It has introduced pictures which depict Zimmerman on the night of the shooting with blood on his face and lips, as well as cuts on his head.
Dr. Rao testified that the beating Zimmerman said he suffered before the shooting would have resulted in more severe damage and bleeding.
On cross examination, defense attorney Mark O'Mara cast doubt on Dr. Rao's testimony. He pointed out that Rao is from the home circuit of State Attorney Angela Corey, the special prosecutor in the Zimmerman case. He asked if Corey had appointed Rao to her current post, to which Rao responded that Corey had "sent my name up to the governor."
The Orlando Sentinel writes that according to "several unpublished reports," Dr. Rao is under fire in her district. These findings would corroborate a Jacksonville.com report that states that she has received numerous complaints ranging from poor leadership to unusual practices, like washing her feet in an autopsy sink and touching cadavers with her bare hands.
Court recessed Tuesday afternoon at about 4:45 and is set to resume at 8:30 Wednesday morning.
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