Zimmerman Friends Say It's His Voice Screaming for Help
(SANFORD, Fla.) -- George Zimmerman's lawyer started his first full day of presenting his defense Monday by calling several of Zimmerman's friends and co-workers to testify that it was Zimmerman's voice screaming for help on 911 calls seconds before he shot teenager Trayvon Martin.
"It's Georgie," said family friend Sandra Osterman when asked about the screams. "I know it."
John Donnelly, who called Zimmerman a "dear friend," told the jury, "There is no doubt in my mind. That is George Zimmerman and I wish to God I did not have the ability to make the determination," he said, wiping his eyes.
Donnelly, a former Army medic during the Vietnam war, reinforced his opinion under cross examination by the prosecution.
"The voice screaming in that video is absolutely George Zimmerman, sir," he testified.
He rejected the suggestion that he would color his testimony to help his friend.
"This courtroom is about truth," Donnelly said.
Determining who is screaming on the tape could be key to the trial. Both Martin's mother and brother have testified that it was Trayvon Martin's voice.
When Zimmerman's defense began Friday afternoon, Zimmerman's mother told the court that it was her son screaming for help.
Zimmerman, 29, is charged with second degree murder for shooting Martin, 17, on Feb. 26, 2012. Prosecutors say the former neighborhood watch captain was profiling and following Martin. Zimmerman maintains that he shot the teenager in self-defense.
To prove second degree murder, the prosecution must show that Zimmerman acted with "ill will" and "spite."
During a cross examination of Osterman on Monday, the prosecution played a part of Zimmerman's phone call to a police dispatcher in which Zimmerman is heard saying, "These a**holes always get away."
"When somebody tells the police that -- pardon my language -- these a**holes always get away, he is not upset?" prosecutor Bernie de la Rionda asked Osterman.
"I don't take it that he is angry," Osterman responded.
Zimmerman's lawyer Mark O'Mara asked if the language on the tapes indicated "ill will" or "spite," and she replied, "No."
Sandra Osterman's husband, Mark Osterman, is an air marshal who described himself as Zimmerman's best friend. He said the two talked about getting concealed weapons permits and how to carry the weapon.
"Having one in the chamber is something that has to be done," said Osterman.
He said he advised Zimmerman to keep a loaded round in the chamber of his gun, but preached firearms safety. During cross examination, prosecutors pressed Osterman, who said that his recommendations were based on his law enforcement training.
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