(Corrects spelling of medical examiner's name, 8th paragraph,
to Shiping Bao from Shipino Bao)
By Barbara Liston
SANFORD, Fla., July 5 Trayvon Martin's mother
said in court on Friday she recognized the voice of her son
screaming for help in an emergency call on the night the black
Florida teenager was shot dead by neighborhood watchman George
Sybrina Fulton's testimony came as the state was preparing
to wrap up its murder case against Zimmerman after nearly two
weeks of testimony. The prosecution has sought to expose
inconsistencies in his account of the fight in Sanford, Florida,
in February last year that ended with Martin's death.
Fulton told jurors she was certain it was her son who can be
heard screaming for help in the background of an emergency call
made to police moments before he died.
"I heard my son screaming," said Fulton, who added that she
first heard the recording in the office of the mayor of this
town near Orlando where her son died.
Testimony from voice-recognition experts has been ruled
inadmissible in the trial on the grounds that it was impossible
to tell from the brief, poor-quality recording whether it was
Martin or Zimmerman calling for help.
In addition to Martin's mother, the state's final witnesses
included his brother, 22-year-old Jahvaris Fulton, who said he
too was convinced it was his brother who can be heard screaming
on the recording.
Other witnesses on Friday, as the state ran through the last
of dozens of people it has called to testify, included the
central Florida medical examiner who performed the autopsy on
Dr Shiping Bao said Martin did not die instantly, even
though the lone bullet from Zimmerman's 9 mm Kel-Tec
semi-automatic handgun pierced the right ventricle of his heart.
"It is my opinion that he was still alive, he was still in
pain, he was still suffering," said Bao, even as he stressed
that the wound was something Martin could not possibly have
TOOK UP TO 10 MINUTES TO DIE
"I believe that he was alive for one to 10 minutes after he
was shot," he added.
Bao's testimony was accompanied by graphic photographs from
the autopsy that were shown to jurors.
Once the prosecution rests its so-called "case in chief," it
will be the turn of the defense to present its case.
Legal experts said that before doing so, Zimmerman's legal
team could simply make an argument for acquittal on grounds that
the state has failed to meet its burden of proof.
It is still unclear whether the defense will choose to put
Zimmerman, who is 29 and part Hispanic, on the stand to testify.
The former neighborhood watchman contends that he killed
Martin in self-defense. He faces up to life in prison if
convicted of second-degree murder.
After the defense concludes its case, the prosecution is
entitled to present a rebuttal.
In testimony on Wednesday, before a one-day break for the
U.S. Independence Day holiday, jurors heard that Zimmerman was
well versed in Florida's self-defense laws before he shot
Martin, despite his previous claim to the contrary.
On Tuesday, Judge Debra Nelson let the jury hear a
television interview in which Zimmerman said he had no knowledge
of Florida's "Stand Your Ground" law, which underpins his trial
But an army prosecutor who taught Zimmerman in a 2010
college class on criminal litigation, testified that he often
covered Florida's self-defense and "Stand Your Ground" laws in
his 2010 course. Army Captain Alexis Carter said Zimmerman "was
probably one of the better students in the class," calling him
an "A" student.
Under Florida's "Stand Your Ground" law, which was approved
in 2005 and has been copied in some form by about 30 other U.S.
states, people fearing for their lives can use deadly force even
if is possible for them to retreat from a confrontation.
The statute is central to Zimmerman's defense in a case that
has captivated the United States because police initially
declined to arrest Zimmerman based on his self-defense argument
and the right to use deadly force under Florida law.
(Writing by Tom Brown; Editing by David Brunnstrom)