State Can Call Zimmerman ‘Vigilante’ and ‘Wannabe Cop’

     SANFORD, Fla. (CN) – Prosecutors in George Zimmerman’s second-degree murder trial can use the words “vigilante” and “wannabe cop,” but audio experts cannot testify about whose screaming voice is heard on a 911 call, a Florida judge ruled; opening arguments are today.
     Seminole County Judge Debra Nelson on Saturday decided the jury cannot hear the state’s expert witnesses identify the screaming voice on the 911 call as Trayvon Martin.
     One expert concluded that the voice was not Zimmerman’s; the other, that it was probably Martin’s.
     Attorneys for Zimmerman, who shot Martin to death 16 months ago, argued that the voice had too much stress too be identified, and that the voice-recognition technique is not generally accepted in the scientific community.
     Judge Nelson’s order states that one expert was thought to have “listener bias” and made the decision it was Martin based on underlying facts and preconceived notions.
     Whether the jury will hear the 911 call a neighbor made to police is uncertain, but they won’t hear the experts.
     But Nelson will allow prosecutors to use words the defense called “inflammatory” to describe Zimmerman. The words include “self-appointed Neighborhood Watch captain” and “wannabe cop.”
     Prosecutors may also say that Zimmerman confronted Martin and profiled him.
     They may not say he racially profiled him.
     Zimmerman, 29, shot Martin to death in February 2012. Martin, 17, was unarmed.
     Whether Zimmerman killed Martin is not at issue. Zimmerman claims he killed Martin in self defense, under Florida’s “stand your ground” law.
     If convicted of second-degree murder he could face up to life in prison.
     Zimmerman will be tried before an all-woman jury of six, with four alternates.
     Opening statements were scheduled for this morning.

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