Prosecutors are expected to rest their case today after Trayvon Martin’s mother and brother testified that a voice heard calling for help on a 911 recording is that of Trayvon Martin.
Martin’s mother, Sybrina Fulton, was asked by prosecutor Bernie de la Rionda who she heard screaming for help in the background of the 911 call. She replied “Trayvon Benjamin Martin.” On cross examination defense attorney Mark O’Mara pointed to her obvious motivation for making the identification, though she refused to answer his hypothetical question.
Trayvon Martin’s half-brother Jahvaris Fulton was also brought to the stand. He also testified that the voice on the audio recording was that of his brother. However on cross examination defense attorney Mark O’Mara pointed out that last year Fulton had given an interview to a local TV station in which he said he wasn’t completely sure whose voice was calling for help. You can see him say so at 2:55 in this clip:
The identity of the person screaming on the 911 call became a key point of contention even before George Zimmerman was charged. In a pre-trial hearing last month, prosecutors presented expert witnesses who were prepared to testify that the voice was that of Trayvon Martin. The defense presented witnesses, including FBI analyst Hirotaka Nakasone, who argued that no scientifically valid identification was possible in this case both because the sample was too brief and because screams can not be compared to a normal speaking voice. Last week Judge Debra Nelson ruled that prosecutors would not be allowed to present their voice experts.
With the technical experts out, only family member can offer opinions on what they heard on the 911 tape. Today Zimmerman’s mother and brother claimed it was Trayvon’s voice. However, George Zimmerman’s father and brother are expected to claim it was George screaming for help when they testify for the defense in coming weeks.
Zimmerman himself claimed he yelled for help when he described the incident to police. This was before he had ever heard the now famous 911 recording. The only eyewitness to the fight, Jon Good, has already testified that he saw Martin on top of Zimmerman and heard Zimmerman calling for help.