A new photograph obtained exclusively by ABC News showing the bloodied back of George Zimmerman's head, which was taken three minutes after he shot and killed 17-year-old Trayvon Martin, gives possible credence to his claim that Martin had bashed his head against the concrete as he fought for his life.
The revelation comes as his attorney and prosecutors prepare for Zimmerman's bail hearing today, which could result in his being released from jail. Zimmerman, 28, is being held on charges of second-degree murder for the Feb. 26 shooting of Martin, which could carry a life sentence if he is convicted.
The exclusive image shows blood trickling down the back of George Zimmerman's head from two small cuts. It also shows a possible contusion forming on the crown of his head. The original police report that night notes that the back of Zimmerman's head was wet, and that he was bleeding from the nose and head.
Zimmerman told police that night that he shot and killed the teenager in self-defense after Martin punched him and pounced on him. Zimmerman told police that Martin then bashed his head into the concrete sidewalk during the altercation that took place in the tidy middle-class development of the Retreat at Twin Lakes in Sanford, Fla.
Zimmerman was treated at the scene by paramedics, then cuffed and driven in a police cruiser to the Sanford police station. He was questioned for hours and later released. In police surveillance video obtained last month by ABC News Zimmerman's wounds are not apparent, and there were no bandages on his head.
Zimmerman was not admitted to a hospital or given stitches the night of the incident.
The photographer told ABC News exclusively that they did not see the scuffle that night, but did hear it. The source saw Martin's prostrate body on the wet grass and claims the gunpowder burns on Martin's gray hoodie were clearly visible; the gunpowder marks could show that Martin was shot at very close range.
The photographer says that after the shooting Zimmerman asked to call his wife. When the photographer asked what to say, Zimmerman allegedly blurted out "man, just tell her I shot someone."
ABC News has learned that investigators have seen the photo.
"How bad could it have been if they didn't take him to the hospital [and] didn't stitch him up," Martin family attorney Benjamin Crump said in a statement to ABC News in response to the image. "The special prosecutor has seen all the evidence and still believes George Zimmerman murdered Trayvon Martin."
Zimmerman's attorney Mark O'Mara says his client has spent enough time behind bars.
"He needs to get out. He should not be in jail," O'Mara said. "I want him out because I need him out. He wants to get out. His family wants it out. It should happen."
If Zimmerman is released, his attorney tells ABC News that he has a number of potential safe houses prepared. In the meantime O'Mara says the former altar boy, who has become America's highest profile defendant, has been reading the Bible while in protective custody.
In a bail hearing in Florida, the burden of proof to deny bail, even in a second degree murder trial, is higher than necessary to seek a conviction in a trial.
"They would have to prove that the presumption of guilt is great, and that the proof is evident," said O'Mara.
In the capias -- similar to a warrant -- filed against Zimmerman last week, Special Prosecutor Angela Corey and her team set bail at "none." In order to reduce that to bail at a set monetary sum, Corey's team would have to essentially prove their case -- something experts tell ABC News is unlikely at this point in the legal process.
O'Mara said he doubts the prosecutor will reveal their case before trial, even before discovery.