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Trayvon Martin‘s mother took the stand Friday morning in the George Zimmerman murder trial, testifying that she believed it was the voice of the Florida teen, not Zimmerman, heard screaming on a 911 call made to police the night he was shot and killed.
When asked to identify the source of the screams after a recording of the call was played in court, Sybrina Fulton responded: “Trayvon Benjamin Martin.”
The question of whether it was the voice of Martin or Zimmerman has a key role in the trial, which began last month in Seminole Circuit Court. Testimonies from voice-recognition experts were dismissed because of the low quality of the tape.
The neighborhood watch volunteer, who’s on trial for second-degree murder, has maintained that he was acting in self-defense when he shot Martin once in the chest after approaching the 17-year-old in a gated community in Sanford, Fla. Martin had been unarmed. After the February 2012 shooting, national outrage broke out, with civil rights activists labeling the incident a hate crime.
Fulton stood firm Friday while defense attorney Mark O’Mara asked her about the first time she heard the 911 audio, in a line of questioning that was apparently intended to create doubt among jurors. “I heard my son screaming,” she said.
“You certainly had to hope that that was your son screaming even before you heard it right?” probed O’Mara.
“I didn’t hope for anything, I just simply listened to the tape,” Fulton replied.
Fulton’s testimony came as the prosecution’s case against Zimmerman, 29, was ending after nearly two weeks. Additional state witnesses on Friday were Martin’s brother, Jahrvaris, 22, who also said he recognized Martin’s screams for help, and the medical examiner who performed the autopsy on the teenager, testifying that he may have been alive for up to 10 minutes after getting shot.
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