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UPDATE: During the hearing this afternoon, the 911 call where you can hear screaming for help in the background was played.  Here is a shot of Zimmerman’s reaction:



We’re just four days away from the start of George Zimmerman’s second degree murder trial, and the defense is back in court today for a crucial hearing that could make or break the case.

In this last hearing before trial, attorneys are debating whether jurors should hear testimony from audio experts who analyzed the 911 call where Trayvon Martin can be heard screaming for help.

The defense argues the state’s analysts are using unproven science, and shouldn’t be allowed to testify at trial. 

The experts have given varied accounts. According to the Orlando Sentinel:

– Alan R. Reich, the most definitive and potentially impactful of the state experts, says it was Trayvon heard crying in the 911 call. Specifically, Reich says he hears Zimmerman make a “seemingly religious” proclamation while, simultaneously, Trayvon cries out “I’m begging you.” Reich also says the last cry before the shot was Trayvon, yelling the word “stop.”

-Gainesville-based consultants Harry Hollien and James Harnsberger said the 911 audio quality was too poor for a definitive match, but who said some of the cries were more likely Trayvon, while others were more likely Zimmerman.

– Tom Owen, a New Jersey based forensic consultant used biometric software to analyze the 911 call for the Orlando Sentinel in March 2012. He concluded “with reasonable scientific certainty” the cries did not match Zimmerman.

– Michigan-based Ed Primeau was also interviewed by the Sentinel last year, and used audio enhancement and human analysis to conclude the voice was likely Trayvon.

This morning’s hearing also heard a request by the defense to keep some civilian witnesses anonymous during trial. However, the state opposed that motion.

Defense lawyer Mark O’Mara argued that important witnesses could be subjected to “ridicule or retribution,” and might be afraid to give testimony which could exonerate Zimmerman.

Prosecutor John Guy said putting a screen in front of some witnesses when they take the stand — as the defense had argued — “to me would be alarming or confusing to a juror,” and imply those witnesses are more important than the others.

The judge denied the motion.

The judge, however, has not yet made a decision about the voice experts.

We’ll keep you updated on the latest.

SOURCE: Orlando Sentinel

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