George Zimmerman stands with his defense attorneys Mark O'Mara, left, and Don West at Seminole circuit court, in Sanford, Fla., for a pre-trial hearing Friday, June 7, 2013.
(CBS/AP) -- The second week of
testimony in the trial of suspected murderer George Zimmerman began Monday in a Florida courtroom.
Zimmerman is pleading not guilty to second-degree murder. He says he acted in self-defense when he fatally shot 17-year-old Trayvon Martin last year.
The first to take the stand on Monday: an FBI audio expert whose pre-trial testimony helped keep prosecution witnesses from testifying.
During that pre-trial hearing, Hirotaka Nakasone testified that there wasn't enough clear sound to determine whether Zimmerman or Martin was screaming in 911 calls.
Based on that, Judge Debra Nelson decided not to allow two prosecution witnesses to testify. One ruled out that it was Zimmerman screaming and the other thought it was the teen.
Several key witnesses
testified during last week's proceedings, one of whom said he believes
Trayvon Martin was on top of George Zimmerman moments before the fatal
people who either heard or saw portions of the Feb. 26, 2012
confrontation or its aftermath, including police, first responders,
neighbors and a friend of Trayvon Martin's who was on the phone with the
teen just before his death took the stand last week.
The jury heard
several frantic 911 calls placed the evening of the fatal altercation
and saw graphic photos of Martin's body, face down in the grass. They
also saw evidence including the package of Skittles Martin had purchased
before his death and Zimmerman's gun.
The Martin family attended the proceedings last week, sometimes growing emotional.
a former neighborhood watch volunteer, is charged with second-degree
murder. He claims he shot Martin in self-defense after the teen attacked
him and slammed his head into a sidewalk.
Last week's testimony followed opening statements Monday, during
which prosecutors launched with the profanity-laced language Zimmerman
used as he called non-emergency dispatchers to report a suspicious
person in his neighborhood. Prosecutors said Zimmerman profiled Martin
as a criminal, followed him, confronted him, and then shot him "because
he wanted to."
In a starkly different picture of events, defense
attorneys said the former neighborhood watch volunteer was "viciously
attacked" and acted in self-defense. In another contrast to the
prosecution's dramatic opening statement, defense attorney Don West
opened with a "knock knock" joke.
"Knock, knock, who's there?
George Zimmerman. George Zimmerman who? All right good, you're on the
jury. Nothing? That's funny," said West.
In a blow for prosecutors
Friday, neighbor John Good told the court that he believed he saw
Martin on top during the altercation and heard George Zimmerman calling
Good testified that he saw a man in dark clothing on top of a man who
was wearing red or light-colored clothing with lighter skin. Zimmerman,
29, was wearing a red jacket the night of the altercation, and Martin,
17, was wearing a dark hooded sweatshirt.
Good, however, said he couldn't say for sure Martin was striking Zimmerman.
key witness, Martin's friend Rachel Jeantel, said she heard Martin
saying "Get off, get off" before the line went dead as she spoke to him
on the phone that night.
Jeantel, 19, was a crucial witness for
prosecutors, though the defense aimed to highlight inconsistencies in
her story in a lengthy cross-examination during which she appeared to
grow exasperated. She was sometimes difficult to understand, prompting
attorneys and the judge to ask her to speak up and repeat her answers to
Jeantel said Martin told her that a man he described
as a "creepy ass cracker" was following him through the community as he
was walking home from buying snacks at a 7-Eleven. Later, she said she
heard Martin ask, "Why are you following me for?" and a "hard-breathing
man" ask, "What are you doing around here?"
That's when Jeantel said she heard a "bump," a sound like "wet grass," and Martin saying, "Get off, get off."
Testimony is set to continue Monday morning at 9 a.m.