Ahead of George Zimmerman‘s second-degree murder trial, one of the looming questions has been about whether state audio expert testimony will be admissible in court. On Saturday morning, Judge Debra Nelson ruled that the testimony of two experts will not be allowed, though the tapes may still be played for the jury.
Prosecutors were seeking to prove that the voice heard screaming on the 911 call was that of Trayvon Martin and not Zimmerman. According to WJXT:
The state audio experts in question are Dr. Alan Reich, who says he hears Trayvon Martin saying “I’m begging you” in the background of the 911 calls, and New Jersey audio forensic expert Tom Owen, the expert who excluded Zimmerman as the source of the screams in the 911 calls.
Owen testified via video chat on Thursday, saying that he’s testified opposite of the defense’s expert several times, including one case in 1999.
While the expert testimony will not be allowed, witnesses familiar with the victim or defendant can testify about the identity of the voice on the recordings.
Earlier on Friday, the judge ruled on the defense’s motion to ban certain terms. Denying the request, the judge ruled the state can say Zimmerman “profiled,” but not racially. Other terms the defense sought to ban — including “vigilante,” “wannabe cop,” and “got out of the car after police (or dispatcher) told him not to” — will also be allowed.
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