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Today, defense attorneys are expected to continue calling witnesses to testify in George Zimmerman’s murder trial. 

The state rested its case on Friday against the neighborhood watch volunteer, who killed an unarmed Trayvon Martin, after emotional testimony from both Trayvon’s mother and brother.

As the screams in the background of a neighbor’s 911 call were heard in court over and over again, Sybrina Fulton, Trayvon’s mother, told prosecutor Bernie de la Rionda that those screams belonged to her son.

And, despite a cross examination that tried to paint the two brothers as estranged, Jahvaris Fulton told the court that he and his little brother were very close. He also told the court that although he wasn’t sure at first and didn’t want to believe that his brother’s last screams were on the 911 call, it was, in fact, Trayvon’s voice.

Following their riveting testimony, the defense called Zimmerman’s uncle and his mother, Gladys Zimmerman, to the stand. Both said the screams were Zimmerman’s.

We’ll keep you updated on the latest developments in the courtroom today.

LATEST UPDATES FROM THE COURTROOM:

5:00 PM EST: BREAKING – Judge will allow toxicology report into trial that says Trayvon had very small amount of THC in his bloodstream.

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4:28 PM EST: Court recesses for the day. Attorneys stay to discuss Richardson hearing and toxicology reports

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4:15 PM EST: Bill Lee, former Sanford police chief takes the stand. He was fired for his handling of the Trayvon Martin shooting.

– While discussing evidence and calls with O’Mara, Lee tells the court that family members should be presented evidence individually as not to influence one another.

3:52 PM EST: Tracy Martin, Trayvon’s father, takes the stand.

– Tracy Martin tells O’Mara that he did not tell Serino that the screams were not Trayvon’s. “I didn’t tell him that it wasn’t Trayvon.” He also says he told Serino he couldn’t tell if it was Trayvon. Says he never said “no” outright.

– After being questioned about a “cleaned-up” or “enhanced” version of the 911 tape that he listened to, Martin tells O’Mara that he has no knowledge that such a tape exists.

– O’Mara questions him about not telling Trayvon’s mother that he had listened to the 911 tape. “Did I tell Ms. Fulton that I listened to the tape, no I didn’t.” Martin tells O’Mara that they just buried their son and a lot was going on.

– During cross, BDLR says to Martin, “this was a very emotional time for you. And you listened to the recording….and you pulled your chair back in disbelief,” prosecutor Bernie de la Rionda asked. “You realized that was the shot…” “That killed my son, yes,” Martin said.

– Recounting how he is living life without his son, he also told the court that Trayvon was his best friend.

– “My world has just been turned upside down.”

– Tracy Martin says he listened to the recordings multiple times to figure out why Zimmerman got out of his car and “chased my son.”


2:35 PM EST: Adam Pollock takes the stand. He owns the gym where Zimmerman practiced mixed martial arts.

– Pollock testifies that Zimmerman joined his gym in October of 2010 (Zimmerman’s nurse says he started in 2011). He told the court that Zimmerman was “grossly obese,” and came to the gym to lose weight.

– Pollock says that at the time of the shooting, Zimmerman was still a novice. Words used to describe the defendant:  unathletic, predominately fat, soft, not a lot of muscle or strength.

– Pollock also goes over “ground & pound” method in MMA fighting. This is the same style of fighting witness John Good says he witnessed from the person on top when he seen the fight. Pollock describes it as mounting an opponent, striking them from the top.

– In terms of physical ability, Pollock would give Zimmerman a 1 (on a scale of 1-10). He also rated Zimmerman as no higher than a 1.5 out of 10 as a grappler.

– During cross examination, Mantei points out slogan of Pollock’s gym is “Learn without getting hit.” Described as the most complete fight gym in the world.

2:24 PM EST: Doris Singleton takes the stand again.

– O’Mara: “Mr.Martin’s words were…” Singleton: “That was not his sons voice.”

– Singleton, who was present during the Martin/Serino interview, said she felt awful for the father. “I could feel how he must feel because I have children and I felt bad for him.”


1:47 PM EST: Chris Serino, lead investigator in the shooting, is called to the stand.

– Serino is also asked about the interview with Tracy Martin. When he played the call for Martin, he says the father said “no” under his breath when asked if the screams were Trayvon’s.

– “I heard it, and saw the movement of his mouth,” Serino says. But later, Serino testifies that Martin’s “no” could be construed as denial.

– He also tells the court that the moment Martin heard the tape was a “very emotional moment.

– During cross examination, BDLR brings up Zimmerman’s interview with Serino, where the defendant told the investigator that the screams didn’t sound like him.

– Serino says when Zimmerman said the screams didn’t sound like him, he thought he meant he didn’t recognize his own voice. 


1:40 PM EST: Doris Singleton, a Sanford Police Department investigator who was the first to interview Zimmerman, takes the stand. She also testified for the state.

– O’Mara starts off by questioning Singleton about an interveiw between Chris Serino (lead investigator in shooting) and Trayvon’s father, Tracy Martin.

– Singleton says after Tracy Martin was played the 911 call where the screams and shot are audible, he hung his head and cried.

12:10 PM EST: Court recesses for lunch.

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11:29 AM EST: John Donnelly, Benjamin’s husband, takes the stand.

– Donnelly is a retired physician’s assistant. He was also a combat medic in the Vietnam war.

– He says he and Zimmerman became good friends after Zimmerman asked him how to tie a Windsor knot. Again, O’Mara points out that the tie Zimmerman is wearing today in court was purchased by Donnelly and Benjamin.

– Donnelly’s time as a combat medic was the star in his testimony. He says he developed an ability to distinguish screaming voices during the war. He also said that during a life-threatening situation, a 250lb man can sound like a little girl.

– When asked about the 911 screams, he says “there is absolutely no doubt in my mind that is George Zimmerman.


10:39 AM EST: Leanne Benjamin takes the stand. She is a friend of Zimmerman’s and previously worked on a campaign with him. They also have a business relationship.

– Benjamin discussed her decade-long friendship with Zimmerman. She told the court that sometimes they don’t talk but they’ve always remained close.

– She was unaware of the shooting at first because she was taking care of her ill father.

– She and her husband have donated about $3000 to Zimmerman. They also purchased $1700 in court clothes and bring him food ocassionally. (O’Mara points out that the suit Zimmerman is wearing currently in court was purchased by Benjamin).

– After hearing the 911 call, Benjamin says she believes the screams are Zimmerman’s because she’s heard him scream while they were working on the campaign together.

– Benjamin, just like Osterman, didn’t hear the expletives used in the 911 audio by Zimmerman. Again, BDLR has to play the calls for her so she can hear. She said she was focusing on the background noise instead of the curse words.

– Later, she says she doesn’t think there was any hatred or ill-will behind those words. “I think he was just reporting on what he saw.”

10:26 AM EST: Gerri Russo, a former co-worker and friend of Zimmerman, takes the stand.

– After discussing range of voices, Russo admits that she hasn’t heard Zimmerman screaming, but has heard him speak many times.

– Says that hearing him speak lead her to the conclusion that Zimmerman was the one screaming on the audio.

– During cross, she admits that she’s never heard Trayvon Martin’s voice.

9:50 AM EST: Mark Osterman, Sondra’s husband, takes the stand. This is his second time testifying as he first testified for the state.

– Osterman helped Zimmerman choose the 9mm he used to kill Trayvon. Said they chose it because it didn’t have an externam safety, which can be dangerous to the user in a life-threatening situation.

– Osterman also discussed firearm safetey (and visited the shooting range) with Zimmerman. He told Zimmerman that law enforcement officials usually carry a gun with a bullet it its chamber. He told Zimmerman to do that same.

– During cross examination, Osterman acknowledges that Zimmerman is a neighborhood watch volunteer, not law enforcement. “The authority is much different.”

– After hearing 911 calls he also identifies the voice heard screaming in the background as Zimmerman’s.


9:00 AM EST: COURT RESUMES. First witness of the day, Sondra Osterman, takes the stand. She is the wife of Zimmerman’s best friend, Mark Osterman. The Osterman’s wrote a book about Zimmerman and the shooting.

– Osterman refers to George Zimmerman as “Georgie.”

– When asked about the different ways she’s heard his voice, she says she’s heard him in regular conversation and laughing. (Later, during cross, she admits that she’s never heard him screaming)

– After being played the 911 calls (with screams in background) Osterman identifies the screams as Zimmerman’s. “Yes, definitely, it’s Georgie,” she says through sobs. 

– When asked about the money from the books, Osterman tells the court that the money is being saved for Zimmerman “for after.”

– Bernie de la Rionda has to play the non emergency 911 call four times before Osterman admits to hearing “fucking punks” and “asshole” comments. Says she hears no ill-will or hatred when she finally does hear the comments.

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WHAT YOU MISSED LAST WEEK:

Sybrina Fulton took the stand. She identified both of her sons, telling the court that her youngest (Trayvon Benjamin Martin) was in heaven. She also told the court that the screams heard on the 911 calls belonged to Trayvon. 

Jahvaris Fulton takes the stand. He also told the court that the screams heard on the tape were Trayvon’s.

– The state rested their case and the defense called Zimmerman’s mother, Gladys, and his uncle to the stand.

– For a full recap of each trial day, see below:

Day 1Day 2Day 3Day 4, Day 5Week 2Day 7Day 8Day 9Day 10Week 3, Day 12Day 13Day 14Day 15Week 4Day 17Day 18, Day 19