Alex Witt   |  July 05, 2013

Defense questions Martin’s family about 911 call

MSNBC’s Craig Melvin, Lisa Bloom and Prof. Jelani Cobb recap the testimonies from Sybrina Fulton and Jahvaris Fulton, Trayvon Martin’s mother and brother, during the trial of George Zimmerman.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>> so the court is in a brief recess, everyone, and javaris fulton has completed his testimony for now. he may be called back to that stand to continue. let's bring in nbc legal analyst lisa bloom to talk about what just went down there. i have also two others joining us, i introduced as the contributing writer for "new yorker" magazine and reporter in sanford, florida. this was mark o'mara's attempt to try to muddy the waters if you will and take down the relevance of javaris fulton 's testimony saying he recognized his brother's voice as being the one crying for help on that 911 call?

>> take down the significance of it? i would say so on direct examination , javaris fulton said i recognize that voice, that's the voice of my brother, trayvon martin . on cross-examination, he had to concede that the first time he heard that recording, he wasn't sure that it was trayvon martin and he heard it for the first time when a local reporter played it for him during an interview. mark o'mara for the defense wanted to play the audio of that interview to underscore that that's, in fact, what this young man said the first time he heard it but the judge would not allow that because you're only allowed to impeach on cross-examination which means a prior inconsistent statement. well substantiates what he said on cross-examination namely the first time he heard it, he just didn't know. there was no legal significance to playing that on cross-examination. so it was not admitted.

>> okay. gilani, sometimes we're interpreting things differently, not experts in the legal speak. but it would seem that mark o'mara is trying to just say out of context, the first time you heard this, you weren't quite sure. now that you've heard it time and time and time again, you have developed this certainty, correct? that this is your brother?

>> he made that statement to both sybrina fulton and her sonja var ris trying to counter balance the fact that they are his closest relatives, they think this is trayvon martin . i think the other thing that's really crucial here is that you remember back to the first day of the trial, that the prosecution opened with the young man, his fiancee's son, whom trayvon went to the store to get skittles for and they're closing with his mother and his brother who looks a great deal like him.

>> doesn't he.

>> so it's eerie to see this young man who is a spitting image of trayvon martin and a reminder of, you know, what this young man won't get to experience. a college student , well spoken and they're saying well, could this have been what trayvon martin would have grown into had he not died tragically last year.

>> i was asking lisa bloom earlier about whether she agreed with the timing of these witnesses right now and the testimony and, you know, absolutely. this will be a positive closing point here before the defense will be able to take over on monday. msnbc's craig melvin is joining us from sanford. you have information about sybrina fulton , trayvon's mother who may be coming back to the stand in.

>> yeah. you know what, we expect her to be recalled and shown some evidence. what's happening right now, by the way, inside the courtroom is fairly interesting. there's a problem with the evidence locker we're told and it seems as if the problem could very well be that, you know, whoever usually has the key, isn't around. they've had to call in locksmiths to get into the evidence locker. we accountant when they get into that evidence locker that at some point they'll call sybrina fulton and show her evidence. but we also don't know when that's expected to happen. judge nelson, who is known for running a fairly tight shift, typically when she calls a recess, it's 10, 15, maybe 30 minutes . if you just heard there, a few moments ago, this is sort of an indefinite recess because of these technical issues. we should note that before testimony started today, both attorneys, attorneys for the defense, both attorneys, attorneys for the defense and state, stipulated to a particular witness, dr. bow, who is a medical examiner that conducted the autopsy on trayvon martin . we thought we might be hearing from him. it does not appear at this point as if we are going to hear from the medical examiner. both sides stipulating basically that this was a medical examiner who conducted the autopsy and that was it. the witnesses that we're getting right now, sybrina fulton , the 36th witness for the state, javaris martin , the 37th witness, could very well be the last witnesses unless, of course, the state decides to call tracy martin , trayvon martin 's father. all that being said, we fully expect the state to rest its case today. it remains to be seen whether the prosecution -- whether the defense at that point calls its first witness this afternoon or whether they wait until monday. a lot of that will depend on timing. at this point a lot of timing seems to revolve around this evidence locker they can't seem to get into.

>> thanks for keeping a close eye on what's going on inside the courtroom both from your vantage point and with your access to the tapes and what's going on. so for all of you, we have a court recess right now which means we're going