Screams heard on a 911 call are the voice of Trayvon Martin, the slain youth’s mother told jurors in the murder trial of George Zimmerman as Florida prosecutors neared the end of their case against the former Neighborhood Watch volunteer.
Sybrina Fulton, Martin’s mother, testified for the prosecution for about 10 minutes today in state court in Sanford, Florida. Prosecutors, who said they may finish their case today, played a recording of a 911 call to police from a neighbor the night Martin was killed where screams could be heard in the background.
“In your mind, as his mother, there is no doubt it was him screaming?” Mark O’Mara, a lawyer for Zimmerman, asked Fulton during cross examination.
“That is correct,” she said.
Fulton was followed to the witness stand by Martin’s brother, Jahvaris Fulton, who also said the voice on the recording was Martin’s.
“When I first heard it, I didn’t want to believe it was him,” he said.
The recording, in which the screams end with the sound of a gunshot, could be pivotal to the prosecution’s case that Zimmerman, 29, was the aggressor. Zimmerman told police he acted in self-defense after Martin punched him in face, knocked him to the ground and threatened to kill him. There were no eyewitnesses to the incident.
The Feb. 26, 2012, shooting triggered protests in several U.S. cities and drew comment from President Barack Obama after officials initially declined to arrest Zimmerman, saying it appeared he had acted within the bounds of the state’s Stand Your Ground law. The statute allows individuals who feel threatened in a public place to “meet force with force.”
Zimmerman is accused of second-degree murder and faces a possible sentence of life in prison if convicted.
The case is State of Florida v. Zimmerman, 1712FO4573, Florida Circuit Court, 18th Judicial Circuit, Seminole County (Sanford).
To contact the reporters on this story: Tom Schoenberg in Washington at email@example.com; Christopher Boyd in the Sanford, Florida, courthouse
To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Hytha at firstname.lastname@example.org