Judge: Audio experts on screams cannot testify at trial in Trayvon Martin killing
The judge in the murder trial of George Zimmerman said today that prosecution audio experts who point to Trayvon Martin as screaming on a 911 call moments before he was killed won’t be allowed to testify at trial.
Judge Debra Nelson reached her decision after hearing arguments that stretched over several days this month on whether to allow testimony from two prosecution experts. One expert ruled out Zimmerman as the screamer and another said it was Martin. Defense experts argued there was not enough audio to determine who the screams are coming from. Zimmerman’s attorneys also argued that the state experts’ analysis is flawed.
Nelson ruled that the methods used by the experts aren’t reliable. But her ruling doesn’t prevent the 911 calls from being played at trial.
The screams are crucial pieces of evidence because they could determine who the aggressor was in the confrontation. Martin’s family contends it was the teen screaming, while Zimmerman’s father has said it was his son.
Opening statements are set for Monday in the second-degree murder trial for the former neighborhood watch volunteer who says he fired on the unarmed black teenager in self-defense last year. Zimmerman is pleading not guilty.
The elimination of the audio experts will likely shorten the trial by a week. Before the ruling, attorneys had predicted the trial could last two to four weeks after opening statements.