Video: New witness comes forward in Martin case

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    >>> now to the trayvon martin case . it has been one month since the florida teenager was shot and killed by a neighborhood watch volunteer. new witnesses are now coming forward, as supporters of the shooter defend his actions. nbc's ron allen is in sanford with the latest on this story. ron, good morning.

    >> good morning to you, ann. there is a huge rally planned for this park later today . but the organizers hope will draw a crowd bigger than the 25,000 or so people who were here just a few days ago, to demand justice for trayvon martin and his family. they'll also be here to send a very loud message to the police, to george zimmerman and his supporters, who claim that he's an innocent man.

    >> the incident that occurred, i believe mr. zimmerman was acting in self-defense.

    >> he cried for days after that shooting.

    >> and i don't believe that george zimmerman is a racist.

    >> reporter: george zimmerman supporters have launched a public campaign to defend him in the court of public opinion .

    >> no justice!

    >> reporter: against an unrelenting demand for zimmerman 's arrest. thousands even donned hoodies in solidarity with trayvon martin's family, in churches across the country. zimmerman 's defenders insist it was the teenager who attacked first, knocking zimmerman to the ground in a scuffle that left the crime watch volunteer with a broken nose, gash in his head and grass-stained clothes. and ended with a fatal bullet in martin's chest.

    >> if what george claims is true, none of this would have happened if trayvon had just said, i'm staying with my parents.

    >> trayvon martin had no such duty. we believe he never knew who this strange man was who confronted him.

    >> reporter: there are now witnesses coming forward like mary kutcher who says she heard cries of distress out her open back window that night.

    >> it sounded young. it didn't sound like a grown man. is my point.

    >> reporter: she said she's speaking out now because she does not believe zimmerman 's claim of self-defense. she heard the fatal gunshot.

    >> the crying stopped. and if it was zimmerman that was crying, because -- or whining or whatever because he was hurt, or i think it would have continued.

    >> reporter: martin's family maintains if zimmerman did what crime watch volunteers are supposed to do, their son would be alive today.

    >> neighborhood watch is to watch, and call the police. he had a license to carry that weapon but he did not have a license to carry that weapon as a patrolman and that's what he was doing that day. he played police.

    >> reporter: later today , martin's parents will have their first meeting with a special prosecutor just appointed by the governor to investigate this case. they're also going to make a very public plea for justice before the sanford city commission here. another reason why so many thousands of people are coming to this town to support them.

msnbc.com news services
updated 3/26/2012 1:49:12 PM ET 2012-03-26T17:49:12

Trayvon Martin was suspended from school last month for having a baggie that contained marijuana residue in his book bag, a family spokesman said Monday, but his parents believe the suspension had nothing to do with his killing Feb. 26 by neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman.

The residue was found in a plastic bag inside Martin's book bag, Ryan Julison said.

"There was no substance found. There was a baggie that school officials believe may have formerly contained marijuana. There was no arrest or citation from the police," Julison said.

Toxicology test results were still pending on the body of Martin, 17, who was gunned down inside a gated community in the central Florida city of Sanford.

Zimmerman has not been charged and claims self-defense.

Martin was visiting his father in Sanford while he was suspended by Miami-Dade schools. He was unarmed.

Thousands march in Fla. to hearing on Trayvon Martin case

His killing has ignited racial tensions. Martin was black; Zimmerman's father is white and his mother Hispanic.

Also Monday, state Department of Juvenile Justice confirmed that Martin does not have a juvenile offender record. The information came after a public records request by The Associated Press.

The Associated Press and Reuters contributed to this report.

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