By: Taren Vaughan
Trayvon Martin’s mother Sybrina Fulton and brother Jahvaris Fulton both took the stand today on Day 9 of the ongoing murder trail and gave their testimonies. George Zimmerman’s past criminal instructors Captain Alexis Carter and Scott Pleasants took the stand on Day 8 and exposed George Zimmerman’s knowledge of self-defense laws, namely the state of Florida’s Stand-Your-Ground law. According to a report from CNN, during her testimony, Sybrina Fulton did not hesitate at all with her response when asked if the screams for help heard on the 911 call made the night of Trayvon’s death were coming from her son:
“Absolutely,” she answered resolutely.
Earlier Friday, prosecutor Bernie de la Rionda played the 911 call while a stoic Fulton listened. When asked whether she recognized the screaming voice, the mother — who earlier stated that her son was “in heaven” — said it was that of “Trayvon Benjamin Martin.”
Trayvon’s older brother Jahvaris Fulton also testified about the voice heard on the 911 call. And while he confirmed the voice belonged to his brother, Jahvaris said he never heard Trayvon yell like that before:
The 22-year-old college student added that he had “heard him (Martin) yell” before, but “not like that.”
He testified that when he first heard the call, he thought it was his brother’s voice but wasn’t sure. “I guess I didn’t want to believe it was him,” Jahvaris told O’Mara. “I was clouded by shock and sadness.”
George Zimmerman’s mother Gladys Zimmerman and uncle Jorge Meza however claimed in their testimonies that the screams on the 911 call were coming from George and not Trayvon.
In addition to Trayvon Martin and George Zimmerman’s family members taking the stand, associate medical examiner Dr. Shiping Bao for Voluscia and Seminole County gave his testimony too today in court about the autopsy he performed on Trayvon Martin. And he said the muzzle of George Zimmerman’s gun was likely in loose contact with Trayvon Martin’s clothing, indicating Zimmerman shot the teenage boy from a close distance. Dr. Bao also said he believes Trayvon was possibly alive for up to 10 minutes after he was shot:
“I believe he was alive for one to 10 minutes after he was shot. His heart was bleeding until there was no blood left,” the medical examiner said as autopsy photos lingered on a courtroom screen, adding that Martin was “suffering (and) in pain.”
“There is no chance he could survive. Zero.”
During cross-examination, defense attorney Don West expressed his doubts about the condition of Trayvon Martin’s body and clothing when it was examined. Dr. Bao wouldn’t confirm the timeline because he said he wasn’t there and the two disputed Shiping Bao’s ability to establish a timeline. The prepared notes Shiping Bao was reading also caught the attention of Attorney West. When asked about the notes, Shiping Bao said:
“I typed out potential answers to your potential questions.”
The notes revealed that Shiping Bao had changed his mind about a couple of things including the amount of time Trayvon Martin survived after being shot and whether the substance found in his system was enough to have an impact on him. Don West went on to argue that the prosecutors knew about the changes to Bao’s notes:
West argued that the prosecution knew about these changes but didn’t tell the defense. But Bao insisted that he did not tell anyone that he’d changed his opinion.
The defense attorney pressed Bao, too, on the collection of Martin’s clothes and scraping of his fingernails. The medical examiner, though, said he couldn’t remember each detail and that he’d trusted that his technicians properly followed procedures.
Later on during today’s court proceedings, defense attorney Mark O’Mara asked for acquittal with the argument that Zimmerman acted in self-defense and did not act out of hate when he shot Trayvon Martin. However, Judge Debra Nelson denied the motion. The Prosecution formally rested its case around 5:00pm.
Here are the clips from Day 9 of the trial: