Zimmerman trial: Jurors to see Trayvon had marijuana in system - New York News

Zimmerman trial: Jurors to be shown Trayvon had marijuana in system

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SANFORD, Fla. (WOFL FOX 35 ORLANDO) -

Jurors in the George Zimmerman trial will be allowed to see a toxicology report showing Trayvon Martin had marijuana in his system when he was shot, a judge ruled Monday.

Chief Judge Debra Nelson had ruled before the neighborhood watch volunteer's trial that mention of marijuana would not be allowed during opening statements.

Monday's ruling was out of the presence of the jury. Prosecutors had argued that the results would be prejudicial, but the defense said it was relevant because Zimmerman thought Martin was "on drugs" the night of February 26, 2012, when he shot Martin in his gated Sanford townhome complex.

Listen to 911 calls, see more evidence pictures at ZimmermanTrialOnFox.com

Called to the stand by the defense Monday, Martin's father, Tracy, said he never denied it was his son's voice screaming for help on a 911 call. That contradicted earlier testimony by police officers.

"My response was I didn't tell him, 'No that wasn't Trayvon.' I think the chairs had wheels on them and I pushed away from the table and just shook my head and said, 'I can't tell.' "

"Do you believe police lied when two officers said you said no about it being your son?" defense attorney Mark O'Mara asked to an objection by prosecutor Bernie de la Rionda.

"I never instructed anyone to say anything. Did you ever tell Ben Crump to say police lied about that? I never instructed anyone to say anything," Tracy Martin said.

He told the court how difficult it was listening to the 911 calls.

"From that point until today, my world has been turned upside down," Tracy Martin said.

Sanford Police Det. Christopher Serino and Officer Doris Singleton both said they recalled playing the 911 tape for Tracy Martin after his son was killed, and both testified Tracy Martin didn't recognize his son's voice on the tape.

"He looked away and under his breath he said 'no'," Serino said of Tracy Martin.

"After listening to the tape for, maybe 20 times, I said I knew that it was Trayvon's voice," the elder Martin said under questioning by defense attorney Mark O'Mara. Martin called his son his "best friend in life" and said the unarmed teen's death turned his world "upside down."

Identifying who is screaming on the 911 call is key to both the defense and prosecution because it may help determine who was the aggressor in the confrontation the night Martin was shot. Martin's family says the unarmed 17-year-old is screaming for help; Zimmerman's friends and relatives say it was his.

Sanford Police Chief Bill Lee spoke for the first time since he was forced out of the department in the aftermath of the Martin shooting.

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He told the court how the Martin family listened to the 911 call together.

"It was my understanding it was played in a group setting in the mayor's office," Lee said.

"Was law enforcement present?" O'Mara asked.

"No sir," Lee replied.

Lee said law enforcement typically play 911 calls for witnesses individually rather than as a group to avoid people from influencing each other.

"Did you ask to be present in the time that the recording was played by the family?" O'Mara asked.

"I offered to be present. Yes sir," Lee said.

"And was that accepted?"

"No sir," Lee said.

"Were you excluded from the room?"

"Yes sir."

Complete coverage of the George Zimmerman trial at ZimmermanTrialOnFox.com

Earlier Monday, several of Zimmerman's friends said Monday it was Zimmerman screaming for help on a 911 call.

"Yes, definitely. It's Georgie," said Sondra Osterman, who testified she first met Zimmerman in 2006 while working with him at a mortgage company. Osterman and her husband, Mark, describe themselves as best friends of Zimmerman and his wife, Shellie.

Mark Osterman, a federal air marshal, wrote a book about the February 26, 2012, fatal shooting called "Defending our Friend: The Most Hated Man in America." Sondra Osterman said that would not affect her testimony in the case.

Leanne Benjamin, who owns a real estate company and formerly worked with Zimmerman, also identified Zimmerman as the screaming voice on the 911 call.

"I know his voice," Benjamin told jurors. "I know what his voice sounds like when he gets excited or loud."

Benjamin and her husband, John Donnelly, contributed $2,500 to Zimmerman's defense fund and Donnelly purchased suits for Zimmerman to wear during his trial, she testified.


The defense also called to the stand the owner of a kickboxing gym where Zimmerman trained before the incident, to illustrate that Martin was getting the better of the Zimmerman during their confrontation.

Adam Pollock said Zimmerman was "grossly obese," and not athletic at all.

When O'Mara asked him to rate Zimmerman's athletic ability on a scale of one to 10 when he began training, Pollock replied, "0.5."

The prosecution also filed a motion Monday asking that a defense animation depicting the fatal encounter between Zimmerman and Martin not be mentioned or played in the Seminole County courtroom. They say it may confuse jurors and only approximates positions based on witness accounts.

Zimmerman, 29, is charged with second-degree murder in the death of Martin, who was shot in Zimmerman's gated Sanford townhome complex, The Retreat at Twin Lakes. The state argues Zimmerman profiled and followed the teen that night. He faces life in prison if convicted.

Fox 35 News' Valerie Boey, FoxNews.com and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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