Prosecutors release cache of evidence in Trayvon Martin case

(AP) - Prosecutors in the Trayvon Martin case dumped a mountain of evidence on the public this week. In many criminal cases, that would bring

ORLANDO, Fla. - (AP) - Prosecutors in the Trayvon Martin case dumped a mountain of evidence on the public this week. In many criminal cases, that would bring clarity, start answering the basic questions. But no one - not pundits, attorneys or the public - can safely say we're even close to knowing exactly how and why neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman shot and killed the 17-year-old in the black hoodie. So many aspects of the Feb. 26 altercation and shooting in Sanford remain muddy. Who threw the first punch? Why did Zimmerman leave his car? This cache of recordings, photos and statements is far from all the evidence. But it suggests there are answers we may never truly get. "I can't comment on, you know, what George saw or what George was thinking," the suspect's father, Robert, told investigators in a March 19 interview included in Thursday's release. "Or what anybody saw or what they were thinking." In some states, "discovery" like this isn't released prior to trial - unless it's by a defense team hoping to score points in the court of public opinion. That is what happened during the infamous 2006 Duke University lacrosse rape case, in which North Carolina officials ultimately determined that the local prosecutor rushed to judgment in charging three students with raping a stripper. In Florida, evidence is generally considered a public record once the prosecution turns it over to the defense. Among the things prosecutors are prohibited from releasing pretrial: Confessions. Zimmerman gave several interviews to police, including re-enacting at the scene what he says happened that night. But there is no statement from the 28-year-old shooter among the materials made public this week. His only public comment so far came during his detention hearing last month, when he apologized to Martin's parents - but stopped short of admitting any crime.

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