George Zimmerman‘s trial is running into it’s second week and Circuit Judge Debra S. Nelson and lawyers on both sides of the case will continue their pre-trial publicity questioning in order to choose six jurors and four alternates that will ultimately determine Zimmerman’s fate.
Last week, attorneys focused their search on Seminole County residents who were undecided on Zimmerman’s guilt or innocence, or didn’t know much about the shooting of Trayvon Martin.
So far lawyers have found 28 men and women who passed the publicity test and don’t have hardships that should prevent them from serving.
But today, jury selection will come to a halt at 4:00 p.m. when attorneys discuss the screams heard in the background of the 911 calls. A biometrics expert on the defense is expected to testify that the voice analysis from two state experts should not be trusted.
If you recall, those two experts told the court at a pretrial hearing two weeks ago that the calls for help in the audio did not come from Zimmerman, but from Trayvon.
LATEST UPDATES FROM THE COURTROOM:
4:22 PM EST: BREAKING Frye hearing is underway. First up, James L. Wayman, defense biometrics expert.
4:21 PM EST: O’mara motions to keeps jurors info secret for no less than six months after trial.
-Media lawyer Scott Ponce: O’Mara’s motion is premature, “it’s all conjecture and speculation.”
- Judge Nelson says she’ll keep juror info secret “for some time” after trial, not sure yet how long.
3:52 PM EST: Juror questioning ends for the day. Judge Nelson asks the following jurors to return tomorrow: H69, H81, H86, I5, I14, I19, I24, I33, I44, I46, I49, I54.
Jurors to return on Wednesday: I64, I65, I66, I68, I79.
-Frye hearing to start any minute.
3:10 PM EST: Potential juror H35 takes the stand. Described as female (light skin, no race specified) in her 20’s or 30’s.
- Says she doesn’t really have an opinion, but told Rionda that she “liked” a photo on Facebook of Trayvon. Lawyers seem to be confused about social media and how an individual can “like” a photo. Doesn’t remember what the photo was or why she liked it.
- Retracts, says the photo she liked had something to do with the racial aspect of the case.
- What she does know: “Altercation happened… I guess there was a gun involved, because he [Trayvon] was shot.”
2:54 PM EST: Potential juror H31 takes the stand. Described as a Hispanic female in her 30’s.
- Tells court that she has exposure to both sides of the case.
- Says that some of her friends have pictures of Trayvon on their Facebook page.
- Says she doesn’t have time to follow the case, however. “I have a very busy life.” Has 2 small children, “try to focus more on them.”
- H31 tells court that being sequestered would be a hardship. “Yes, it is. 100 percent, unfortunately.”
2:29 PM EST: Potential juror H29 takes the stand. Described as a white male in his 60’s.
- He had heard there was a shootingin Sanford: “We had a little circus come to town, with celebrities… That quite honestly turned me off.”
- “This is a tragic case. There are no winners here.”
- H29 says says that Revs. Jackson & Sharpton “judged this case not on its merit.”
1:02 PM EST: Potential juror H27 takes the stand. Described as a white male in his 50’s.
- His sister is a police officer in Las Vegas. He talked to her about the case.
- “I donated to the defense fund some time ago.” Believed Zimmerman was defending himself.
- Says he gave Zimmerman defense $20, calls Zimmerman an “underdog… he was getting piled on.”
- Heard about a lot of outside people coming in “trying to make it a racial issue, which I don’t think it was.” Talks about people like Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton “making money” off of Trayvon’s shooting.
- Believed the media to be “biased” against Zimmerman. Believes Zimmerman was “trying to do the right thing.”
- H27 also knows about Zimmermans troubled past with the law, doesn’t believe that’s a “big deal.”
- Tells Bernie de la Rionda he could keep an open mind. Rionda losing his cool. Judge tells him to lower his voice.
- H27 believes in the “Stand Your Ground” law. Says of Trayvon, “he was apparently acting suspicious,” but I don’t know how. “Don’t know if he was looking through windows…”
- Juror tells court he feels sympathy for Trayvon’s family but he does believe Zimmerman was justified in his shooting. “Zimmerman has the right to follow a person without being attacked.
- On President Obama: “He was taking a side in the case when it still hadn’t been decided yet.”
11:53 AM EST: Court recesses for lunch.
11:30 AM EST: Potential juror H18 takes the stand. Described as a Hispanic male in his 30’s or 40’s.
- Heard about the case at work, but had just opened his business so was too busy to pay attention.
- Thought the jury summons meant he was in trouble. “What did I do?” Courtroom laughs.
- H18 says there are three things that he doesn’t get involded in: “politics, religion, and race.”
- Says being sequestered would be hard. “My time is money.”
9:42 AM EST: Potential juror H13 takes the stand. Described as a white female in her 60’s.
- Says she doesn’t know much about the case, tells state attorney that she believes it happened in an apartment or condo complex.
- Says she has many questions about the case.
-H13 says she knows about debate on “who was calling for help, whether it was Trayvon or Mr. Zimmerman.”
- Says she found the protests with “high profile” politicians “unsettling.” Was fearful of those protests, “would they end in riots?” She mentioned Rodney King when referencing riots. Mentions Revs Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson. Says they believe Zimmerman”shot an innocent young man.”
- “I don’t know that… It’s a question that’s not answered.” When asked if Zimmerman racially profiled Trayvon Martin.
- “I believe that George Zimmerman approached Trayvon.. to find out what he was doing…that was my understanding that he was the neighborhood watch.”
- “I believe that he did.” When asked if Zimmerman followed Trayvon after told not to. Says Zimmerman was wrong.
- “I just have the question, why did he have it?” On Zimmerman having a gun as neighborhood watch.
- She says several African American coworkers “were convinced right from the start” that the case was “racial profiling.” But mentions that their opinions won’t shape hers. She has a biracial grandson who is 6-years-old.
9:37 AM EST: Potential juror H10 takes the stand. Described as a black male in his 50’s or 60’s.
- Says he can’t judge for religious reasons. He is out after telling attorney’s he can’t say if Zimmerman is innocent or guilty.
9:05 AM EST: Potential juror H7 takes the stand. Described as a white male in his 50’s.
- Juror H7 says he watches a variety of news channels but does not have a Facebook page. Heard Zimmerman’s name in the news plenty of times.
- Remembers the protests but doesn’t understand why the case was so high-profile. Doesn’t understand why “people are making a big to-do out of it.”
- Case was a “nuisance,” was “disrupting typical events in the area.”
- H7 on whether he wants to be a juror: “I would rather not be here.”
- Seen pictures of Zimmerman’s injuries and heard about “stand your ground” law. Heard “there was a struggle… discharge of a firearm” and a “boy was killed.”
- Juros H7 says that networks have an “anti-gun atmosphere to” their coverage.
9:00 AM EST: COURT RESUMES
Here’s What To Expect Today:
- Jury selection will continue. Stay updated with GlobalGrind as we give you a play-by-play of what’s to come.
- At 4:00 pm EST, jury questioning will halt as Judge Nelson listens to testimony from a biometrics expert who says the states voice analysis (who identified the screams of help in the 911 audio as Trayvon’s) cannot be trusted.
What You Missed Last Week:
- Attorneys questioned more than three dozen potential jurors. So far, only 28 have made it past pre-trial publicity questioning.
- Judge Nelson announced that the final jury will be sequestered.
- During that time, the 10 jurors will face restrictions on where they can go, what they can read and watch on television, and even how often they can speak to family members.
- To see a full recap of each trial day last week, see below: