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Audio expert: Zimmerman 911 call is not reliable

  • Crucial hearing in George Zimmerman trial hinges on whether 911 call will be allowed into evidence
  • Defense is trying to block state experts' testimony
Audio expert: Zimmerman 911 call is not reliable
The admissibility of one of the most critical pieces of potential evidence in the George Zimmerman murder trial remains unresolved. An extended court session Monday evening failed to settle the issue of whether prosecutors will be able to play 911 calls from the night Trayvon Martin was killed. The so-called Frye hearing will resume Wednesday at 4 p.m. ET.
INTERACTIVE TIMELINE: The George Zimmerman Case
Zimmerman, a former neighborhood watch captain, is charged with second-degree murder for killing 17-year-old Martin in Sanford, Florida, on the night of Feb. 26, 2012. He claims he shot the teenager in self-defense.

The defense has argued that the quality of the recording is not sufficient to determine whose screams are being heard in the calls' background. Defense expert Dr. James L. Wayman provided further support for that claim Monday, testifying that the sound samples are not long or clear enough to definitively identify the speaker. Zimmerman has said it's him that is heard screaming.

Wayman's assertion is in opposition to the June 7 testimony of Alan Reich, who said that not only are the screams not George Zimmerman's, but that they are likely almost entirely those of the then-17-year-old Martin. That same day, another audio analyst, Tom Owen, agreed that the voice heard screaming was not Zimmerman.
Wayman attempted to discredit the reliability of one of the techniques Owen used to reach that conclusion, which involved looping a very brief audio clip several times until it was long enough for analysis by voice recognition software. Wayman said there is "simply not enough data, by anybody's estimation," to reach a conclusion.

Owen will get another crack at convincing the court that the technology he used warrants the 911 call's inclusion in the trial when he is recalled Wednesday to testify for the state.

The emergency call was made by a neighbor who heard the altercation between the Martin and Zimmerman.

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