06-28-2022  11:46 am   •   PDX and SEA Weather
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By Mariano Castillo CNN

A key piece of evidence was at the center of George Zimmerman's murder trial Friday.

Trayvon Martin's mother and brother listened in court to a 911 call on the night of the shooting and said they recognized the screaming on the recording as coming from the slain teen.

Zimmerman is charged with second-degree murder. His defense team argues that he shot the teen in self-defense.

Lawyers on both sides want to convince the jury of who was doing the screaming, Zimmerman or Martin.

The audio was played in court for Martin's mother, Sybrina Fulton. She said she recognized the screaming as that of "Trayvon Benjamin Martin."

Defense attorney Mark O'Mara asked Fulton if she had no doubt that it was her son screaming.

"Absolutely," she said.

Martin's older brother, Jahvaris Fulton, 22, also took the stand Friday.

Prosecutor Bernie de la Rionda asked him if he recognized the voice on the tape.

"My brother's," Fulton said, adding that he had "heard him yell" before, but "not like that."

The question of whether Zimmerman's actions were self-defense or murder could rest on who was the person screaming.
As the prosecution drew closer to the conclusion of its arguments, de la Rionda called to the stand the man who performed the final autopsy on Martin.

Shiping Bao led the court through a series of photos of Martin's body, pointing out his injuries and explaining what he could conclude from his examination.

Bao's conclusion is that Martin was shot at an intermediate range and that the bullet went right through his heart.

"There is no chance he could survive. Zero," Bao said.

It is possible that Martin was immobile, but remained alive for up to 10 minutes after being shot, Bao said. He would have suffered and felt pain during that time, he said.

Martin, 17, was fatally shot on February 26, 2012.

The shooting put a national spotlight on Zimmerman's hometown of Sanford and sparked fresh debates about race relations and gun laws in America.

Zimmerman is Hispanic; Martin was African-American.

An initial decision not to pursue charges against Zimmerman led to the dismissal of the town's police chief and the appointment of a special prosecutor, who accused the neighborhood watch volunteer of unjustly profiling and killing Martin.

Zimmerman now faces a second-degree murder charge in Martin's death. He has pleaded not guilty and is free on $1 million bond.

ALL THE UPDATES From Day 9: Read from the bottom up

[Updated at 5:23 p.m. ET]

Court is in recess until Monday.

[Updated at 5:20 p.m. ET]

Judge Debra Nelson excuses the jury for the weekend but asks the attorneys to approach.

[Updated at 5:14 p.m. ET]

Defense attorney mark O'Mara begins re-direct. He asks Orange County Deputy Sheriff Jorge Meza to clarify why he disconnected himself from Zimmerman's case.

[Updated at 5:12 p.m. ET]

Prosecutor Bernie De la Rionda begins cross-examination. He asks Meza how much details he knows about Zimmerman's case. Meza says that because of his position in the Sheriff's office, he tried to stay out of the case as much as possible.

[Updated at 5:07 p.m. ET]

O'Mara asks Meza if he has ever heard a 911 call with a voice in the foreground and screams for help in the background. He says yes.

[Updated at 5:03 p.m. ET]

Defense calls its next witness: Jorge Meza, Orange County Deputy Sheriff and Zimmerman's uncle.

[Updated at 5:02 p.m. ET]

O'Mara is on re-direct. He asks Zimmerman's mom to clarify her answer to de la Rionda. She is then excused with subject to recall.

[Updated at 5:01 p.m. ET]

De la Rionda begins cross-examination. He asks Zimmerman's mom if she has ever heard her son screaming for help before. She says no. He rests.

[Updated at 5:00 p.m. ET]

After listening to a portion of the Call, Zimmerman's mom confirms that it is her son's voice on the 911 call.

[Updated at 4:59 p.m. ET]

O'Mara plays the 911 call for Zimmerman's mom to see if she can tell whose voice is on the recording.

[Updated at 4:55 p.m. ET]

The jury is back in the court. The State rests its case. The defense calls its first witness to the stand: Gladys Zimmerman, the defendant's mother.

[Updated at 4:51 p.m. ET]

Judge Nelson announces that the Judgment of Acquittal motion is denied. She believes that the sate has presented both direct and circumstantial evidence and that this case is going to the jury.

[Updated at 4:32 p.m. ET]

Prosecutor Richard Mantei rests. O'Mara starts his rebuttal.

[Updated at 4:14 p.m. ET]

Mantei argues that pointing a loaded weapon at the heart and pulling the trigger "is in fact evidence of ill will." He responds to O'Mara's argument about ill will, saying that Zimmerman thought he knew who Martin was and that his was wrong in his assumption. He also presents several exhibits of direct evidence of Zimmerman's ill will and calls Zimmerman a liar. He, too, cites law cases that suggest Judgment of Acquittal is not appropriate in this case.

[Updated at 3:59 p.m. ET]

Defense attorney Mark O'Mara just finished arguing Judgment of Acquittal before Judge Debra Nelson. Prosecutor Richard Mantei responds.

[Updated at 3:38 p.m. ET]

O'Mara argues that his client has asserted self-defense in his statements and that there is no direct evidence of ill will, hatred, or spite. He adds that Zimmerman made his statements to police before hearing any witness testimony that supports his claims and cites law cases that suggest Judgment of Acquittal is appropriate in this case.

[Updated at 3:20 p.m. ET]

O'Mara is arguing Judgment for Acquittal motion now.

[Updated at 3:18 p.m. ET]

State plans to rest the case when the jury comes back in.

[Updated at 3:12 p.m. ET]

Prosecutor De la Rionda enters several exhibits into evidence. Jury is not present for this.

[Updated at 2:56 p.m. ET]

Voluscia and Seminole County associate medical examiner Bao Shiping is excused with subject to recall. Judge Nelson calls for a 10 minute recess.

[Updated at 2:54 p.m. ET]

De la Rionda also asks Bao about his autopsy report, the notes he took during the autopsy, and reviewing photos from the scene of Martin's shooting.

[Updated at 2:49 p.m. ET]

Bao tells de la Rionda he believes there was something between the gun and Martin's skin: Two shirts.

[Updated at 2:46 p.m. ET]

Defense attorney Don West has finished questioning Bao. De la Rionda begins redirect.

[Updated at 2:38 p.m. ET]

West asks Bao whether he thinks there was any distance between the skin of the victim and the gun. Bao says that based on the stipling, there was intermediate distance, which is 0.4 inches to 4 feet.

[Updated at 2:33 p.m. ET]

Bao says he doesn't know how much Martin may have been able to move or talk after a gunshot injury.

[Updated at 2:27 p.m. ET]

Bao describes the case that caused him to change his opinion of how long Martin lived after being shot.

[Updated at 2:21 p.m. ET]

Questioning turns once again to how long Martin may have lived after being shot. West questions Bao's sources for his testimony.

[Updated at 2:19 p.m. ET]

West asks if blood from the abrasions could have been transferred to another surface, like clothing. Bao says it's a possibility.

[Updated at 2:16 p.m. ET]

Bao says the small abrasions on Martin's fingers could have happened up to two hours before his meeting with Zimmerman. He clarifies that it's an estimation and that the injuries could have also come from him fight with Martin.

[Updated at 2:13 p.m. ET]

West asks Bao if it was his conscious decision not to photograph Martin's palms. Bao answers that during an autopsy, he looks for something significant, like injuries or disease, and doesn't photograph the body part if there is nothing significant. He says he usually takes five to 10 photographs for each body during an autopsy.

[Updated at 2:04 p.m. ET]

West asks Bao about blood drawn for Martin's toxicology report. in this case, Bao says, blood was drawn from Martin's chest for the toxicology report. He explains that normally, they try to get peripheral blood first, but in Martin's case, there was no blood left anywhere but his chest.

[Updated at 1:55 p.m. ET]

West asks Bao about the day of Martin's autopsy. Bao says he doesn't remember whether he was there for the packaging of Martin's clothing or the scraping of his fingernails.

[Updated at 1:52 p.m. ET]

The jury is back in the courtroom.

[Updated at 1:48 p.m. ET]

Judge Nelson has asked West three times to keep the focus of his questioning of Bao on the Richardson issue. After hearing testimony, the court finds there is no violation of the Richardson issue.

[Updated at 1:42 p.m. ET]

West asks the medical examiner, "When did you change your mind on the significance of levels of THC on Martin's mind?" Bao answers, "In the last 60 days." He also says he spent hours doing additional research and speaking with fellow experts to come to the new conclusion that marijuana may have had an effect on Martin.

[Updated at 1:38 p.m. ET]

Bao says he cannot remember whether he told the lead prosecutor that his opinion changed about Martin's time of death the day before Friday's testimony, July 4.

[Updated at 1:34 p.m. ET]

West is asking Bao why he changed his opinion about how long Martin took to die after the shooting, from one to three minutes to one to 10 minutes.

[Updated at 1:27 p.m. ET]

The jury is not in the courtroom for the discussion of Bao's notes.

Updated at 1:05 p.m. ET]

Court is back in session, and attorneys are conferring with Judge Nelson.

[Updated at 11:55 a.m. ET]

West requests time to make copies of and review Bao's notes. He objects, but Judge Debra Nelson recesses the court for lunch. Copies will be made of his notes, and Nelson assures they'll be destroyed after his testimony ends.

[Updated at 11:53 a.m. ET]

The defense attorneys grin while reviewing Bao's notes. From the witness stand, the medical examiner asks, "Is there something funny there?"

[Updated at 11:50 a.m. ET]

Bao is reading his answers off personal notes. "I typed out potential answers to your potential questions." West asks to see the notes, but Bao declines. Judge Nelson tells him both sides' attorneys are entitled to view his notes.

[Updated at 11:46 a.m. ET]

West asks if Martin's wet clothes were sealed in a plastic bag before examination. "If anybody does that, he'll be gone the next day. This is a very basic concept," Bao says. He adds that it's standard procedure to use a paper bag instead of a plastic bag for clothing.

[Updated at 11:38 a.m. ET]

West and Bao argue about his not responding to West's question about the autopsy time line. Judge Nelson tells the witness to "please stop speaking so Mr. West can ask the next question."

[Updated at 11:32 a.m. ET]

West asks Bao about the time that passed between when Martin was shot and when his body was removed from the scene. West says it was a little less than three hours (approximately 7:15 p.m. to 10:10 p.m.), though Bao will not confirm that since he was not at the scene himself.

[Updated at 11:25 a.m. ET]

Don West begins his cross-examination of medical examiner Bao.

[Updated at 11:13 a.m. ET]

The direct examination ends. Court is in a 10-minute recess.

[Updated at 11:02 a.m. ET]

"I believe Trayvon Martin was alive for one to 10 minutes after he was shot," Bao says, and confirms that he could still feel pain.

[Updated at 11 a.m. ET]

The medical examiner says he has "zero opinion" on the position of the body when Trayvon Martin was shot.

[Updated at 10:52 a.m. ET]

Bao says, "I believe he was alive for one to 10 minutes after he was shot. His heart was bleeding until there was no blood left." Of the single, fatal shot he adds, "There is no chance he could survive. Zero."

[Updated at 10:51 a.m. ET]

Bao describes the path of the bullet: "Perforations of anterior wall of space between 5th and 6th ribs. Bullet went through the pericardial sac, right ventricle of the heart, posterior wall of right ventricle of the heart. We recovered 1,700 milliliters of blood in the right lower cavity, 1,000 milliliters of blood in the left cavity."

[Updated at 10:50 a.m. ET]

Tracy Martin and George Zimmerman look up at the display showing the autopsy photos of Trayvon Martin.

[Updated at 10:48 a.m. ET]

Bao notes the presence also of a small, "superficial aberration caused by blunt force trauma" on Martin's left hand. No injuries were found on his right hand.

[Updated at 10:44 a.m. ET]

Martin was 5 feet 11 inches tall and weighed 158 pounds when he was killed, says Bao. The medical examiner says he was otherwise healthy.

[Updated at 10:40 a.m. ET]

Bao is reviewing photos depicting Martin's clothing and a ⅜-inch bullet hole "consistent with an entrance wound."

[Updated at 10:37 a.m. ET]

The first several photos, Bao says, show the bag in which Martin's body was held.

[Updated at 10:36 a.m. ET]

Prosecutor Bernie de la Rionda is displaying autopsy photos. Trayvon Martin's father is seen rubbing his eyes.

[Updated at 10:29 a.m. ET]

Bao says it's his opinion Martin did not die immediately and was "suffering, he was in pain" after the gunshot. Defense attorney Don West objects, saying Bao is making an emotional appeal and it's not relevant. The objection is sustained.

[Updated at 10:28 a.m. ET]

Bao is describing Martin's wounds and the path of the bullet, which was found behind his heart, behind his right ventricle. Bao says the bullet also went through one of Martin's lungs.

[Updated at 10:22 a.m. ET]

Bao says he has performed more than 3,000 autopsies, about 150 to 200 on homicide victims. He says the manner of Martin's death was homicide.

[Updated at 10:20 a.m. ET]

Bao is an expert in forensic pathology. He conducted the final autopsy on Martin and determined the cause of death to be a gunshot wound to the chest.

[Updated at 10:17 a.m. ET]

Fulton has been excused after identifying a button her son always wore. The state now calls Shiping Bao, the associate medical examiner in Volusia and Seminole counties. He is licensed in Florida and Texas.

[Updated at 10:12 a.m. ET]

After a delay, the court is taking a five-minute recess.

[Updated at 10:03 a.m. ET]

Jahvaris Fulton has been excused. The state recalls Sybrina Fulton.

[Updated at 10:02 a.m. ET]

Under redirect, Jahvaris Fulton confirms hearing the 911 call that first time was emotional and he was in denial about his brother's death. Asked if he now believes it's Trayvon Martin on the tape, he says "yes."

[Updated at 10 a.m. ET]

O'Mara ends his questioning.

[Updated at 9:57 a.m. ET]

O'Mara addresses Fulton about hearing the 911 call for the first time, in the Sanford, Florida, mayor's office with his family and family attorneys. Fulton tells O'Mara, "I didn't want to listen to them again" after hearing the tapes twice that day. "It's emotional; I didn't want to listen to it."

[Updated at 9:53 a.m. ET]

Court is back in session. It resumes with testimony of Jahvaris Fulton.

[Updated at 9:23 a.m. ET]

Court is now in recess.

[Updated at 9:23 a.m. ET]

Nelson denies the request to play tape in court because "his answer is the same today as it was then, so that's not impeachment." She says there is no legal basis for playing the interview for the jury.

[Updated at 9:22 a.m. ET]

A court reporter is reading back Fulton's testimony as the defense seeks impeachment. Judge Debra Nelson says that's "not impeachment." O'Mara continues to try to get the tape to be played for jurors.

[Updated at 9:17 a.m. ET]

The prosecution says Fulton "did not equivocate" in his answer on the stand. He said at the time he wasn't sure it was his brother, and again, today, he said he wasn't sure at the time.

[Updated at 9:16 a.m. ET]

The tape is played while the jury remains out. The reporter asks, "Who did you hear?"

Fulton: "I'm not sure. Honestly, I haven't even listened to it that good. I've heard it. I would think it was my brother, but I am not completely positive that it is him."

The interview was on March 31, 2012.

[Updated at 9:15 a.m. ET]

O'Mara says the tape should be played because Fulton has not sufficiently answered the question about what he told a Miami TV reporter. He moves for the impeachment of Fulton.

[Updated at 9:13 a.m. ET]

O'Mara asks to play the interview Jahvaris Fulton gave where he's asked about the identity of the voice on the 911 call. The jury is excused while the request is considered.

[Updated at 9:11 a.m. ET]

"When I heard it in the mayor's office (for the first time), I guess I didn't want to believe it was him," Fulton says. "I was clouded by shock and sadness." O'Mara says the interview he gave was two weeks after that first listen. Fulton says he did not hear the tape again in the interim.

[Updated at 9:10 a.m. ET]

Mark O'Mara recalls Fulton's interview where he once said he was not initially certain whose voice was screaming.

[Updated at 9:09 a.m. ET]

Jahvaris Fulton says he's heard the 911 call of his brother's shooting "10 to 15 times."

"Whose voice do you recognize?" he's asked. "My brother's," he says.

Fulton says he's "heard him yell" before, but "not like that." Direct examination ends.

[Updated at 9:07 a.m. ET]

"We were very close" Fulton says of relationship with his brother.

[Updated at 9:05 a.m. ET]

Martin's older brother, Jahvaris Fulton, 22, is called to testify. He is a student at Florida International University.

[Updated at 9:04 a.m. ET]

O'Mara to Fulton: "You certainly hope, as a mom, that your son Trayvon Martin would not have done anything that led to his death, correct?" Fulton replies, "What I hoped for is that nothing happened and he'd still be here. That's my hope." Then says "I don't believe he was" responsible for his own death. Fulton is excused from the stand.

[Updated at 9:03 a.m. ET]

The defense has no further questions. De la Rionda begins redirect.

[Updated at 9:02 a.m. ET]

O'Mara asks if anyone had told Fulton she would be played the tape that day, to "prepare yourself" for it. "No," she says.

[Updated at 9 a.m. ET]

"As his mother, there was no doubt it was him screaming?" O'Mara asks. "Absolutely," Fulton replies.

[Updated at 8:58 a.m. ET]

Fulton says hearing the call was "absolutely" one of the worst things she ever experienced.

[Updated at 8:58 a.m. ET]

O'Mara is asking Fulton about the first time she heard the 911 tape and reviews the people who were present.

[Updated at 8:55 a.m. ET]

Defense attorney Mark O'Mara begins the cross-examination of Sybrina Fulton.

[Updated at 8:53 a.m. ET]

The 911 call of Martin's shooting is being played in court. Fulton says she recognizes the screaming as that of "Trayvon Benjamin Martin." There are no more questions from prosecutor Bernie de la Rionda.

[Updated at 8:52 a.m. ET]

Fulton is asked about Martin's tattoos. She confirms he had two: praying hands on his right upper shoulder, with his grandmother and great-grandmother's name, and Sybrina's name on his left wrist.

[Updated at 8:40 a.m. ET]

The state has called Sybrina Fulton, the mother of Trayvon Martin, to testify.

[Posted at 8:35 a.m. ET]

Court has been called into session. The parents of Trayvon Martin are in attendance in their usual seats behind the prosecution's table.

Jan. 6 Committe Hearings - Day 6

A suprise hearing with newly discovered evidence will be held Tuesday, June 28 at 9:45 a.m. PT (12:45 p.m. ET).

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