Jury Selection Continues Monday in George Zimmerman Trial

Attorneys working to build pool of 40 potential jurors

Circuit Judge Debra Nelson granted a defense motion to extend the timeline for securing the anonymity of jurors in the George Zimmerman trial on Monday.

Judge Nelson did not say for how long anonymity would be extended to jurors. She previously ruled that jurors’ names would be kept anonymous until after a jury reaches a verdict.

Judge Nelson said Monday that she would consider the length of the extension after the verdict is reached. Defense attorney Mark O’Mara has asked for a six-month extension.

Zimmerman is charged with second-degree murder in the February 2012 shooting of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin. He has pleaded not guilty, saying he acted in self-defense.

A hearing on expert testimony about the voices heard on a 911 call in the case resumed Monday afternoon.

Judge Nelson must still decide whether to allow voice identification experts to testify at trial about screams captured on 911 calls. Thus far, the experts have reached mixed conclusions about whether the screams belong to Martin or Zimmerman. Defense attorneys don’t want the experts to testify.

On Monday, Judge Nelson listened to testimony from defense voice recognition expert James Wayman, who discounted methods used by two prosecution experts. One expert said in a report that the screams came from Martin and the other expert ruled out Zimmerman during previous pretrial testimony. Wayman also said he doubted the screams came from just one person and said the 911 call was just too small a sample from which to draw conclusions.

A prosecutor said Monday that he would call one of those experts as a rebuttal witness.

The trial went to recess Monday night with that hearing scheduled to resume again Wednesday afternoon.

Earlier Monday, jury selection for the Zimmerman trial continued as prosecutors and defense attorneys continued to question potential jurors.

As of Monday, 32 potential jurors have gone through the initial round of questioning, which was focused solely on pretrial publicity.

Attorneys are working to build a pool of 40 potential jurors, out of the 500 summoned, before additional questioning.

Judge Nelson said Thursday that the jury that will eventually be selected to hear the Zimmerman case will be sequestered for the duration of the trial.

Judge Nelson said jury selection would continue Tuesday morning.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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