The prosecution in the murder trial of a neighbourhood watch volunteer wrapped up its case after a dramatic day of testimony Friday, with the doctor who performed an autopsy on the slain teen Trayvon Martin telling the jury that the 17-year-old suffered after he was shot.
Associate medical examiner Shiping Bao started describing Martin as being in pain and suffering after he was shot, but defence attorneys objected and Judge Debra Nelson directed Bao away from that line of questioning.
Bao later estimated that Martin lived one to 10 minutes after he was shot, and said the bullet went from the front to the back of the teen's chest, piercing his heart.
"There was no chance he could survive," Bao said.
Late in the afternoon, the prosecution rested after calling 38 witnesses over two weeks.
Before the defence began its case, defence attorney Mark O'Mara argued that George Zimmerman should be acquitted, saying prosecutors hadn't proved their case.
"What is before the court is an enormous amount of information my client acted in self-defence," O'Mara told Nelson, who continued to listen to arguments late Friday afternoon.
Screams captured on police call
Before the state rested, Martin's mother, Sybrina Fulton, sat expressionless on the witness box while prosecutors played the police recording, in which high-pitched wails can be heard as Zimmerman's neighbor urges a dispatcher to send police quickly. Moments later on the call, there is a gunshot and the crying stops.
"Who do you recognize that to be?" prosecutor Bernie de la Rionda asked Fulton.
"Trayvon Benjamin Martin," she replied.
She was followed on the stand by her son Jahvaris Fulton, Martin's 23-year-old half brother, who also testified the cries came from Martin.
Identifying the voice could be critical to the case because it could help the jury determine who was the aggressor during the scuffle that ended with Zimmerman killing Martin. Zimmerman's father has claimed it's his son yelling.
Zimmerman, the former neighbourhood watch volunteer charged with second-degree murder, has said he shot the teen in self-defence during a fight.
When introducing herself to jurors, Sybrina Fulton described having two sons, one of whom "is in heaven."
During cross-examination, O'Mara suggested — haltingly, in apparent recognition of the sensitivity of the questioning — that Fulton may have been influenced by others who listened to the police call, including relatives and her former husband.
O'Mara asked Fulton hypothetically whether she would have to accept that it was Zimmerman yelling for help if the screams did not come from her son.
"I heard my son screaming," Fulton answered firmly.
The defence attorney also asked Fulton whether she hoped Martin didn't do anything that led to his death.
"I would hope for this to never have happened and he would still be here," she said.
O'Mara asked Jahvaris Fulton why he told a reporter last year that he wasn't sure if the voice belonged to Martin. Jahvaris Fulton explained that he was "shocked" when he heard it.
"I didn't want to believe it was him," he said.
O'Mara asked to play the TV interview for jurors, but the judge denied his request for the time being.
Before testifying, Sybrina Fulton posted on Twitter: "I pray that God gives me the strength to properly represent my Angel Trayvon."
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