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Prosecutor opens with Zimmerman’s obscenity



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West also played for jurors the call to a police dispatcher in which Zimmerman used the obscenities.

Martin had opportunities to go home after Zimmerman followed him and then lost track of him, but instead the teen confronted the neighborhood watch volunteer, West said.

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Guy argued, however, that there is no evidence to back up other claims by Zimmerman, including that Martin had his hands over Zimmerman’s mouth. Guy said none of Zimmerman’s DNA was found on Martin’s body. The prosecutor also said Zimmerman’s claim that he had to fire because Martin was reaching for his firearm is false since none of Martin’s DNA was on the gun or holster.

Zimmerman is pleading not guilty to second-degree murder, claiming self-defense. If he is convicted, he faces a maximum sentence of life in prison.

On Feb. 26, 2012, Zimmerman spotted Martin, whom he did not recognize, walking in the gated townhome community where Zimmerman and the fiancee of Martin’s father lived. There had been a rash of recent break-ins and Zimmerman was wary of strangers walking through the complex.

The two eventually got into a struggle and Zimmerman shot Martin in the chest with his 9mm handgun. He was charged 44 days after the shooting, only after a special prosecutor was appointed to review the case and after protests. The delay in the arrest prompted protests nationwide.

Two police dispatch phone calls will be important evidence for both sides’ cases.

The first is a call Zimmerman made to a nonemergency police dispatcher, who told him he didn’t need to be following Martin.

The second 911 call captures screams from the confrontation between Zimmerman and Martin. Martin’s parents said the screams are from their son while Zimmerman’s father contends they belong to his son.

Nelson ruled last weekend that audio experts for the prosecution won’t be able to testify that the screams belong to Martin, saying the methods the experts used were unreliable.


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Both calls were played for jurors by the defense in opening statements. Martin’s mother, Sybrina Fulton, left the courtroom before the second call was played.

Opening statements were made two weeks after jury selection began. Attorneys picked six jurors and four alternates after quizzing the jury pool questions about how much they knew about the case and their views on guns and self-defense.

The prosecution took a little more than a half-hour to make an opening statement. The defense took more than two-and-a-half hours.



Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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