The judge presiding over the trial in which George Zimmerman is alleged to have murdered Trayvon Martin has already made several rulings limiting what the defense may say about victim Trayvon Martin during opening statements at the hearing today, Tuesday, May 27 in Sanford, Flordia, according to the Orlando Sentinel newspaper.
But perhaps the biggest ruling of the day will be when the judge decides whether or not to grant the motion for continuance filed by defense attorney Mark O’ Mara asking for a delay of five to six weeks for the high profile jury trial.
O’Mara claims in his motion he has only recently received notice of possibly significant evidence from the prosecution team.
If not delayed, the trial will begin June 10.
Circuit Court Judge Debra Nelson has already today ruled that past marijuana use and past fighting by victim Trayvon Martin may not be admitted into evidence by the defense without another hearing.
She also ruled the defense may not mention during their opening statements that Martin had marijuana indgredients in his system.
Another major ruling Judge Nelson has yet to make is whether or not the prosecution will be allowed to introduce evidenc by an audio expert that he heard Trayvon Martin’s trembling voice on a 9-1-1 call begging, “Please don’t do this.”
Obviously, that could be powerful evidence if the judge allows it in.
Zimmerman is accused of shooting to death the 16-year old Martin as the youth was carrying candy from a convenience store to a relative’s apartment. Zimmerman claims the shooting was in self-defense.
He has told police he saw Martin, wearing a hoodie at the time, walking through the gated community in Florida and followed him, thinking he appeared suspicious.
Zimmerman called police and asked if he should continue following Martin. The police replied, “We don’t need you to do that.”
Zimmerman said as he turned back the youth attacked him, and they both fell to the ground struggling.
Zimmerman said that Martin reached for his gun which he had in a holster on his waist as they rolled around on the ground. The alleged killer then said he reached for his own gun in self-defense and shot Martin.
Prosecution audio expert Alan Reich wrote a four-page report regarding his findings on the 9-1-1 tape and identified George Zimmerman’s voice as sounding like a carnival barker or a preacher. He also identified screams in the backgrouond as being those of Martin who perished that night from a gunshot wound.
O’Mara has said he has his own audio expert who will say the voice of the person screaming belonged to his client Zimmerman.
The case has already created a great deal of controversy over Florida’s Stand Your Ground Self-Defense statute.
Today’s hearing is expected to be the last major hearing before trial.
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