On audio experts' testimony, Judge tells defense to listen, wait

SANFORD, Fla. - The fearful screams of a bloody encounter in a gated community in Sanford that left a Miami Gardens teen dead will be heard during the George Zimmerman trial.

Attorneys were anxious Friday. Seminole County Judge Debra Nelson did not rule on whether or not the jury would hear from audio experts, some of whom identified the screamer as Trayvon Martin.

Defense attorney Don West wanted more time in court Friday morning. Nelson said she did not have time, and would try to issue the order by Friday afternoon, but did not.

"I can't sit here in court all day," Nelson said. "I have all the witnesses, four days of testimony and I have reviewed them until late last night. I've got to sit down and write that order … if I don't get that order finished today that means I will finish it over the weekend."

Nelson told attorneys they would likely get the order Monday morning. Prosecutors will use the sound recorded in 911 calls to persuade jurors that Zimmerman was the aggressor.

West has been relentless in his effort to block the expert testimony. It was not the first time since the trial started June 10 that Nelson had asked West to "listen" to her.

Audio expert Allen Reich, of New Jersey, issued a report saying Trayvon said "I'm begging you" and "Stop" before Zimmerman shot him. Others said some of the sounds came from Trayvon. Others said their analysis was inconclusive.

During a hearing Thursday, West adopted a phrase by novelist Edward Bulwer-Lytton. He mocked one of the audio expert's reports, which he said was so disconnected from reality it might as well have started with "it was a long and stormy night."

On Thursday afternoon, Assistant State Attorneys Richard Mantei criticized the defense's audio expert for his lack of experience in the courtroom.  He had a power point presentation.

"It is easy to look sharp when you haven't done anything," Mantei said while pointing at a slide show with a picture of red sharpened pencils.

Assistant State Attorneys John Guy said Friday that expert testimony should be presented to the jury.

"Let them decide," Mantei said Thursday.

Zimmerman claims he shot the 17-year-old in self-defense. According to a medical report after the Feb. 26, 2012 shooting, the 29-year-old neighborhood crime watch volunteer suffered cuts to the back of his head and a fractured nose. Jurors will get that evidence.

Opening statements are set to begin at 9 a.m. Monday.

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