Is Trayvon Martin shouting for help on a 911 call, or are the screams actually the voice of defendant George Zimmerman? A Tuesday court filing offered new clues to the strategy that Zimmerman’s attorney Mark O’Mara will take when the Sanford, Florida trial in the killing of 17-year-old Martin begins on June 10.
In the new motion, O’Mara wrote that the states’ audio experts are using bad science to identify a voice calling for help on a recording as the victim of the February 26, 2012 shooting death. He wants a new hearing to ask the judge to throw the recording out of court.
Although he didn’t specify what audio he was referring to, most observers believe that O’Mara wants Zimmerman’s 911 recording thrown out.
It’s one of the key pieces of evidence in the trial against George Zimmerman, who is charged with second degree murder in a Florida shooting that rocked the nation. The self-proclaimed neighborhood watchman has admitted to killing the unarmed teen but will plead not guilty because he says that he acted in self defense.
The 911 call is widely considered to be damaging to a self-defense claim because it becomes clear in the course of the discussion between Zimmerman and the operator that the defendant is following Trayvon Martin.
The disputed shouts can’t be heard clearly on the call. FBI experts said that quality is too poor for them to take a side.
However, Sanford prosecutors said that the voice is Martin, a claim backed up by his parents and some audio experts expected to testify against Zimmerman. According to The Orlando Sentinel, two of the top audio experts on the prosecution list of witnesses include Tom Owen, chairman emeritus of the American Board of Recorded Evidence, and Ed Primeau, a Rochester Hills, MI audio and video forensics specialist.
Owen and Primeau used different techniques to analyze the recording but came to much the same conclusion — that the shouts on the tape don’t belong to Zimmerman.
But if the judge rules for the defense, it would be a huge win for Zimmerman. The outcome of the trial could ultimately ride on a decision about whether or not the voice really does represent Trayvon Martin’s shouts.
[Trayvon Martin’s parents photo by David Shankbone via Wikimedia Commons]