George Zimmerman, the former neighborhood watch volunteer charged with second-degree murder for the shooting death of Trayvon Martin, walks into court with attorney Mark O'Mara in Sanford, Florida October 26, 2012. (Photo : REUTERS/George Skene/Pool)
On Friday, the judge in the murder trial of George Zimmerman announced that prosecution audio experts who claim Trayvon Martin can be heard screaming on a 911 call moments before he was killed will not be allowed to testify during the trial.
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Judge Debra Nelson's written ruling was released on Saturday after she heard arguments on whether to allow testimony from two prosecution experts. One expert ruled out Zimmerman as the screamer and while another said it was Martin. A defense expert argued there was not enough audio to determine who the screams are coming from. Zimmerman's attorneys also said the state experts' analysis is flawed, reports the Associated Press.
Opening statements for the trial are set for Monday. The case has made national headlines and sparked debate about race, guns and equal justice before the law. Zimmerman, 29, who is half white and Hispanic, is facing life in prison for second-degree murder. He pleaded not guilty, arguing that he acted in self-defense during a confrontation with Martin, an unarmed 17-year-old African American, in central Florida back in February 2012.
In the ruling, Judge Nelson said prosecutors can still play the 911 tape and other recordings at trial, and lawyers can introduce witnesses who are familiar with the voices of Trayvon or Zimmerman to testify about the identity of the person or persons screaming.
In her 12-page order, Nelson wrote that the methods the two men used to analyze the audio were not generally accepted in the scientific community.
"There is no evidence to establish that their scientific techniques have been tested and found reliable," she wrote, reports the Miami Herald.