Nightly News   |  June 23, 2013

Opening statements to begin in Zimmerman case

Opening statements in George Zimmerman’s second-degree murder trial are set to begin Monday, as lawyer’s for the defendant applaud a judge’s decision to not allow voice experts to testify about who is screaming on an emergency call. NBC’s Ron Mott reports.

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>> -- to florida now where opening statements in the george zimmerman second-degree murder trial are set to get under way tomorrow morning . this on the heels of a key decision by the judge about screams herd about on a 911 call on the night trayvon martin was killed.

>> and the four alternates?

>> yes.

>> and is this jury panel acceptable to you.

>> yes.

>> reporter: tonight as they await monday's opening statements in a trial that could send him to prison for the rest of his life, his lead attorney says his client's favorable court ruling this weekend should help the jury determine who itself who is yelling on that raining evening last year.

>> this is now the trial that it should have been. this case should have been only about the facts that existed on that one night on february 26th . we shouldn't have the external pressures or junk science or make believe experts coming in to affect our jury.

>> reporter: saturday the judge barred prosecution experts from testifying saying they failed to use generally accepted techniques in claiming that zimmerman 's voice is not the one screaming.

>> do you think he's yelling help.

>> yes.

>> what is --

>> there's gunshots.

>> you just heard gunshots?

>> yes.

>> how many?

>> just one.

>> reporter: zimmerman has pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder saying he fired in self-defense.

>> the prosecutors are going to have to rely even more on the testimony of the young woman who spoke to trayvon martin by cell in the final minutes of his life.

>> reporter: the case sparked protest and rekindled the uneasy conversation about race. a discussion focused on recent days on the all woman jury of six. trayvon martin's parents say they want justice for their son.

>> the concept of equal justice under the law isn't a black or white value, it's an american value .

>> the prosecution is up first when opening statements begin tomorrow here at the courthouse at 9:00. the defense will follow. the jury will be sequestered throughout the course of this trial, a trial expected to last anywhere from two to four weeks.

>> in the interest of full disclosure, we note that george zimmerman has sued nbc universal .