News & Politics

Trayvon Martin's Medical Examiner: Prosecution Threw the Case

Fired Zimmerman trial coroner says conviction was never going to happen.

A recent revelation in the George Zimmerman/Trayvon Martin case could, and should spark a new wave of outrage. 

Dr. Shiping Bao, the Volusia County medical examiner who was in charge of handling slain-teenager Trayvon Martin's body in February 2012, has come out and claimed that the prosecution team was biased against the African-American teenager, and intentionally lost the case. According to Bao's attorney, Willie Gary, the medical examiner's office, the state attorney's office and the Sanford Police's "general attitude was that [Martin] got what he deserved. He was in essence told to zip his lips. 'Shut up. Don't say those things.'" Dr. Bao is speaking out in the wake of having been fired from the m.e.'s office, and is planning a $100 million lawsuit against the State of Florida.

According to the former assistant coroner, the results of Martin's autopsy clearly showed that, despite Zimmerman's statements regarding their altercation, there was no feasible way for Martin to have been on top of Zimmerman when the gun was fired. 

Bao claims that the prosecution never actually asked him the questions that were crucial to the success in the case, and that he changed his opinion from the time he initially examined Martin and the time he was on the stand.  Bao and his attorney say they believe he was fired for questioning the way the case was handled, and possibly for not going long with the desired narrative.  

Bao testified in court that the amount of marijuana that was found in Martin's system at the time of his death would have had little to no effect on his ability to reason—even though initiallyy he had stated that the drug could have possible impaired his mental state.

You may remember that on August 6, shortly after the verdict, AlterNet's Steven Rosenfeld wrote a story about how it appeared that the state intentionally threw the case against Zimmerman. Among his points: Gov. Scott handpicked the prosecutors, who seemed to ignore much of the evidence. The article also mentioned Bao's waffling on the subject of whether marijuana would have made Martin aggressive. Read that prescient story here: 


Editor's Note: An earlier version of this story said that Dr. Bao claimed Martin had been shot from the back. That cannot be verified at this time. Reports indicate that he did however say that examiniation of the wound revealed that Martin could not have been on top of Zimmerman at the shooting, and the physical evidence indicated that Martin could not have been the aggressor.





Rod Bastanmehr is a freelance writer in New York City. Follow him on Twitter @rodb.

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