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Trayvon Martin autopsy: The key clues

  • George Zimmerman killed Trayvon Martin on Feb. 26, 2012; Zimmerman says it was self-defense
  • Autopsy shows Martin was killed by a single bullet that pierced his lung and lodged in his heart
Trayvon Martin autopsy: The key clues

Watch HLN’s newest hit show "HLN After Dark" nightly at 10 p.m. on HLN. Our all-star legal team breaks down the George Zimmerman murder trial and the issues heating up in the court of public opinion.

George Zimmerman is charged with second-degree murder for killing Trayvon Martin on Feb. 26, 2012. Zimmerman says he shot the 17-year-old in self-defense.

Since Zimmerman’s arrest in April 2012, there has been some question about how the confrontation between he and Martin began and how the physical altercation actually unfolded – leading up to Martin’s death. We asked death investigator Joseph Scott Morgan to analyze the report and to explain some of the some key indicators and what they could mean in the case against Zimmerman.

WATCH: Trayvon Martin autopsy: What it tells us

SEE: The Trayvon Martin autopsy report

INTERACTIVE TIMELINE: The George Zimmerman Case


According to Martin’s autopsy report, the young man died from a single gunshot wound to his chest. The autopsy will be a key piece of evidence in this trial, as both sides attempt to string together a timeline and explanation of the night for the jury. According to the report, other than the single gunshot wound, Martin had only one other injury on his body -- a small abrasion on his left ring finger below the knuckle.

According to Morgan, the lack of injuries on Martin’s body creates some confusion about the physical fight that allegedly took place the night Martin was killed. Basically, the medical examiner did not see any cuts or bruises on Martin’s hands that would have most likely resulted from a physical struggle with Zimmerman. Zimmerman claims he was assaulted by Martin and that Martin struck his head against the pavement. According a Sanford Fire Department report, Zimmerman had "abrasions to his forehead," "bleeding/tenderness to his nose," and a "small laceration to the back of his head."

Also included in Trayvon Martin's autopsy report is a toxicology report, which shows Martin had 1.5 nanograms of THC – the active ingredient in marijuana – and 7.3 nanograms of another THC substance found in his blood. Traces of cannabis – marijuana – were also found in his urine. The problem with the toxicology report is it doesn’t indicate exactly when the drugs were used and whether Martin was on drugs the night he was killed.

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