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Attorneys Debate Whether Voice Experts Should Testify at Zimmerman Trial


June 5, 2013 | WMFE - Two phone calls will be at the center of a hearing Thursday in George Zimmerman's second-degree murder case. At issue is whether voice experts can testify about the calls at trial. Zimmerman's defense wants the testimony thrown out.

[Photo: Zimmerman defense attorney Mark O'Mara at a previous hearing]

Zimmerman placed one of the calls. It was to police when he spotted Trayvon Martin in the Sanford neighborhood where Zimmerman was a Neighborhood Watch volunteer.

The other is a 911 call from a witness just before Martin's shooting. In the background someone is calling for help, but it's unclear whether it's Martin or Zimmerman.

Voice experts disagree on who it is. Zimmerman defense attorney Mark O'Mara had thought the 911 call would decide the case, but now …

"If there is no concrete opinion regarding whose voice it is, then I think it's of no import. I think it doesn't matter at all." 

Also, Judge Debra Nelson issued a ruling Wednesday that jurors cannot be publicly identified during jury selection or the trial. She said this is to protect them from public pressure.

O'Mara thinks the conflicting testimony will confuse jurors, and he wants it thrown out. Zimmerman says he shot Martin in self-defense. Jury selection starts Monday.

 

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