Judge Debra Nelson ruled Saturday that testimony from the state's audio experts, Tom Owen and Alan Reich, will not be allowed in the George Zimmerman trial.
Zimmerman, a former neighborhood watch captain, is charged with second-degree murder for killing 17-year-old Trayvon Martin in Sanford, Florida, on the night of February 26, 2012. Zimmerman claims he shot the teenager in self-defense.
Reich and Owen both testified in a pre-trial hearing on June 7. Reich said that he believes the screams from the 911 call made on the night Trayvon Martin died belong to Martin, and Owen confirmed that the screams were not Zimmerman. However, multiple witnesses said that due to poor quality of the recording of the 911 call, the screams were impossible to properly analyze.
INTERACTIVE TIMELINE: The George Zimmerman Case
Nelson concluded that “there is no competent evidence that the scientific techniques used by Mr. Owen and Dr. Reich are generally accepted in the scientific field. There is no evidence to establish that their scientific techniques have been tested and found reliable.”
Nelson also confirmed that the order does not prevent the recordings from being played during the trial, and witnesses familiar with the voices of Zimmerman and Martin may still testify regarding the identity of the screams.
HLN Legal Correspondent Jean Casarez reports that the defense will be still able to introduce lay witnesses, but that expert testimony will not be allowed.
"It is a huge victory for the defense, no question about it," she said. "This is what the defense wanted."
Opening statements in the trial will begin Monday at 9 a.m. ET.