AP Photo/Orlando Sentinel, Joe Burbank, Pool)
(CBS/AP) Prosecutors in opening statements may say that George Zimmerman profiled Trayvon Martin but they may not say the Miami teen was racially profiled by the former neighborhood watch volunteer, Circuit Judge Debra Nelson said this morning as she ruled on a defense motion seeking to block the terms from trial.
Another highly anticipated ruling expected today, however – whether or not state witnesses will be allowed to testify about who was screaming in the background of a 911 call placed the night Zimmerman shot Martin – may not come until Monday, the Orlando Sentinel reports.
Nelson said she is still working on the ruling, reports the paper.
One state expert claimed that he heard Martin, killed during an altercation with Zimmerman in a Sanford, Fla. gated community last year, saying “I’m begging you” in the background of the call. Other experts have said the quality of the tape was too poor to determine who was screaming.
On Thursday, defense attorney Don West said any attempt to analyze the call reliably would be a “fool’s errand.”
On Friday Prosecutor John Guy reportedly said that the state didn’t plan to say the teen was profiled “solely” by race, but defense attorney Mark O’Mara countered that profiling and racial profiling are inseparable.
Opening statements launch Monday in the high-profile murder trial. Zimmerman, 29, is charged with second-degree murder in Martin’s shooting death. Zimmerman claimed he was acting in self-defense when he shot the teen, but prosecutors are expected to say that he singled out Martin as a suspicious person in his community and confronted him.
A panel of six jurors – all women – and four alternates were chosen Thursday.