Reporter's Notebook: Jury selection continues; experts battle during frye hearing

By Christina Vazquez - Reporter
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STANFORD, Fla. - Good Morning!

 As we begin Day 7 of jury selection in the George Zimmerman Trial I wanted to bring you up to speed on where we are in the process and update you on the on-going audio expert hearing.

 Jury Selection: 

The total number of jurors who survived "Round 1" now stands at 32.

"Round 2" will begin when they reach a total of 40.


"Round 1" has been the individual questioning of potential jurors on "pre-trial publicity".

"Round 2" is a group setting with broader questions.

The Judge agreed to keep juror identities secret after the trial, but she didn't indicate for how long.

 *NO RULING on "Frye" hearing (audio expert hearing). 

Monday night the defense presented James Wayman as their final audio expert. The state now wants to present Tom Owen as the rebuttal expert. That has been scheduled for Wednesday at 4pm.  

 If you include this Wednesday -the total number of days spent on this issue: 5 

THAT is how important it is.  

This is what Owen had to say about the 911 call at heart of debate two weeks ago:

 In determining how long Wednesday afternoon's hearing will last there was this exchange: 

State asked Judge Debra Nelson: "How long have we been here?"

Judge Nelson: "We've been here 4 hours and the air conditioning goes off at 5pm."


 Note: What is pre-trial publicity? Think: media exposure

For the past 6 days of jury selection they've been exploring how much potential jurors already know about the case in order to ferret out any biases or strong opinions that would prevent them from being "fair and impartial". They have been conducting this on an individual basis in order not to "taint" the jury pool with their responses/opinions. =

Frye Hearing - "audio expert hearing" 

Remember at 5:30pm on Local 10 when I explained how this hearing would be about "picking apart the science" of voice recognition findings? We saw that in action Monday night. 


The defense wrapped up its final audio expert testimony in order to debunk the methodology used by a state expert who said the voice screaming in the background of a 911 call was that of Trayvon Martin. 

State expert Alan Reich also said he could hear the late teen saying "Im begging you". Reich is the only expert we've heard from who could identify speech. 


On Monday night defense expert James Wayman said Reich's report "baffled" him. He said there was not enough detail in his report to understand how he reached is unique conclusion. "Like magic to me" is how Wayman described trying to understand Reich's methodology.


The defense's end game here: convince Judge Debra Nelson to toss out Reich's testimony at trial on the grounds that his conclusions are not based on valid science. 


Orlando-based attorney Lyle Mazin said getting Reich's report to the jurors is vital to prosecutors. "Candidly, it's very important," Mazin told me Monday afternoon because in his view the state has, "very limited evidence in this case, not a lot of hard evidence in this case. One of the things that is available to the state here, scientifically speaking of course, is the voice analysis. If they can at least have some sort of forensics to present to the jury it makes their case stronger."


Once again the basis for Judge's ruling is whether the technology is "new and novel" or generally accepted by the scientific community.


More about the "Frye" Hearing here:

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