George Zimmerman‘s legal team filed a motion to have the processes of the voice recognition experts challenged in regard to a 911 call made during the altercation between Zimmerman and Trayvon Martin, according to the Orlando Sentinel. During the 911 call, a voice is heard repeatedly calling for help, but is then dramatically silenced with a gunshot.
To date, both Zimmerman and slain teen Trayvon Martin‘s family have attempted to claim the screams, which is sure to give either side an upperhand during the trial.
On Friday, Zimmerman’s defense attorney Mark O’Mara reportedly asked the judge overseeing the case to specifically review the “scientific validity” of the voice recognition experts.
O’Mara and his team believe that the experts are using “phony science” in their conclusions. Zimmerman’s motion was publicly released on Monday.
A few months after Martin was killed, the associated 911 call was released. From the beginning, Zimmerman has maintained that the screams heard in the phone call belong to him.
But Martin’s family insists that the screams belong to their murdered son, although Trayvon’s father, Tracy, initially said that the screams weren’t Trayvon’s.
By April 2012, a number of experts reviewed the phone call and determined that the screams do not belong to Zimmerman.
In fact, Tom Owen, of Owen Forensic Services LLC and chair emeritus for the American Board of Recorded Evidence, went on record with MSNBC, saying, “The tests concluded that it’s not the voice of Mr. Zimmerman.”
NewsOne spoke with Managing Attorney of Guster Law Firm Eric L. Welch Guster about Zimmerman’s motion and asked him what strategy it appears that Zimmerman is using in advance of his second-degree murder case. Guster said:
“The defense wants to show that the expert is wrong, therefore allowing the defense to say or assert what they need in order to prove their case. In order to show that the expert is wrong, they have to attack the method that the expert used in order to come to their conclusion. If they can prove that the expert was incorrect in using certain technology and methods to come to the conclusion, they can argue that the conclusion is wrong.
“The defense team is trying to eliminate Zimmerman’s culpability in this case. Due to the prosecution’s burden of proof, they want to make it harder for them to prove it was Trayvon screaming for help before the gunshots. If they are successful, they may be able to claim it was Zimmerman screaming for help before the gunshots, thus helping their theory of self defense.”
To Guster, expert testimony will be key in Zimmerman’s case, “Expert testimony will be very important in this trial. If it is determined that Trayvon was screaming for help before he was shot, it would make the defense’s case much more difficult and the self-defense claim harder to prove.”
Four witnesses in Zimmerman’s defense have changed their accounts, with Witness 12 radically challenging Zimmerman’s claim that Martin was on top:
With Witness 12, who reportedly lives in the same neighborhood as the fatal incident, she said she witnessed two people on the ground but wasn’t sure if Trayvon or Zimmerman was on top, ‘I don’t know which one. … All I saw when they were on the ground was dark colors,’ she said.
In her subsequent interview, though, she identified Zimmerman as the aggressor, after being able to observe both of their sizes, ‘I know after seeing the TV of what’s happening, comparing their sizes, I think Zimmerman was definitely on top because of his size.’