According to a court affidavit revealed today, the state of Florida’s case against George Zimmerman hinges in part on whether the screams for help heard on the 911 call were coming from Trayvon Martin, as well as evidence–possibly inadmissible–about what Martin told a friend on the phone.
Multiple eyewitnesses have claimed that they saw Martin on top of defendant George Zimmerman as Zimmerman was on the ground and one eyewitnesses claimed that Zimmerman was yelling for help.
Initially, Trayvon Martin’s father said that the screams heard were not from his son, but later recanted. Now, as the Orlando Sentinel reports, the state of Florida makes a number of claims in their affidavit that contradict Zimmerman’s story.
The document says Trayvon’s mother identified the screams for help heard in a 911 call as those of her son. It also reveals that investigators interviewed a “friend” of Trayvon’s who was talking to him in the leadup to the shooting.
Based on the description, it appears the friend was the girl described by Martin family attorneys as his girlfriend.
“During this time, Martin was on the phone with a friend and described to her what was happening,” the affidavit said. “The witness advised that Martin was scared because he was being followed through the complex by an unknown male and didn’t know why.”
The decision by the prosecution to include the information about the alleged cell phone conversation between Martin and his friend is an interesting one, because that conversation might not be allowed into court. Any attempt to introduce evidence about what Trayvon saidwould liklely be ruled inadmissible under the hearsay rule, unless it fit within one of several exceptions, such as one that applies when the defendant has made a witness unavailable.
If no exception applies, the most that Trayvon’s friend would likely be able to say in front of the jury is that she, in fact, had a conversation with Martin. But she likely could not testify about what he had told her.
The prosecution is certainly aware of this, which makes the inclusion in the affidavit of the information about the conversation Trayvon allegedly had with his friend puzzling, especially if the prosecution’s goal is actually winning a criminal conviction against Zimmerman based on facts and the law.
Martin tried to run home, the affidavit says, but was followed by Zimmerman.
“Zimmerman got out of his vehicle and followed Martin.”
The affidavit goes on to say that “Zimmerman disregarded the police dispatcher” who told him to stop, and “continued to follow Martin who was trying to return to his home.”
Zimmerman, the affidavit says, “confronted Martin and a struggle ensued.”
According to the affidavit: “Trayvon Martin’s mother has reviewed the 911 calls and identified the voice crying for help as Trayvon Martin’s. Zimmerman shot Martin in the chest.”
If the voice on the 911 calls is Trayvon Martin’s, it would cast serious doubts on Zimmerman’s.entire story. If Zimmerman told investigators the truth, it would make no sense that Trayvon Martin would be yelling for help as he beat up Zimmerman.
No audio has yet been released of what Trayvon Martin’s voice sounds like.
Image Source: Gary Green/The Orlando Sentinel-Pool/Getty Images