Orlando, FL — Dr. Shiping Bao, the medical examiner for the Trayvon Martin case who changed his opinion during George Zimmerman’s trial, has been fired.
Bao was fired from his position as an associate medical examiner in Volusia County last week. Spokesman Dave Byron declined to say why Bao was fired, citing the county’s standard personnel practice. In a letter dated August 23, Bao was given 30 days to find a position at another office, but declined to resign at the end that period.
During the trial, Bao initially estimated that Martin lived from one to three minutes after Zimmerman shot him. He later testified that the 17-year-old suffered for up to 10 minutes. Bao said he changed his mind three weeks before the trial based on a case similar to Martin’s. He told the defense he didn’t “see the problem” in changing his opinion and not telling the prosecution.
“If you have new information, new experiences, you read a new book, you change your opinion,” he said. “If someone never changes opinion, you can call them mentally retarded. You never learn, right?”
Bao also said the prosecution didn’t ask him questions that were crucial to its winning the case. Between his first examination of Martin and his testimony, Bao changed his opinion about how marijuana found in Travyon Martin’s system affected his ability to reason the night he was killed. Bao initially said the marijuana could have impacted his mental state, but later said the amount wouldn’t have an effect.
Dr. Shiping Bao is now preparing a $100 million lawsuit claiming that the Florida attorney’s office was biased against Martin and wanted Zimmerman to go free.
“He says their general attitude was that [Trayvon Martin] got what he deserved,” attorney Willie Gary told WFTV. “He was in essence told to zip his lips. ‘Shut up. Don’t say those things.’”
Gary said Bao was made to be a scapegoat and was wrongfully fired from the medical examiner’s office. He said his client was prepared to offer proof that Zimmerman, and not Martin, was the aggressor the night the teenager died.
George Zimmerman was found not guilty on all counts of murdering Travyon Martin on the night of February 26, 2012.