Zimmerman: 'I couldn't see. I couldn't breathe'

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  • HLN is covering the George Zimmerman trial live, gavel to gavel
  • Zimmerman is charged with second-degree murder for killing 17-year-old Trayvon Martin on February 26, 2012
Zimmerman: 'I couldn't see. I couldn't breathe'

Jurors got to hear George Zimmerman’s story in his own words for the first time Monday as his interviews with police were played in court.

The former neighborhood watch captain is charged with second-degree murder for killing 17-year-old Trayvon Martin in Sanford, Florida, on February 26, 2012. Zimmerman told police he was pursuing the teenager because there had been a rash of crime in the area. A confrontation ensued, and Zimmerman said he was forced to kill Martin.

"I tried to defend myself,” Zimmerman said during his first police interview the night of the shooting. “He just started punching me in the face, and I started screaming for help. I couldn't see. I couldn't breathe."

Tape of Zimmerman’s retelling of the confrontation between himself and Martin could bolster the defense’s key contention: that Zimmerman reacted in self-defense.

Zimmerman began his interview with investigator Doris Singleton by saying that there had been a lot of crime in the area and that he had started a neighborhood watch program. He said he spotted Martin, who he thought looked suspicious, and began to follow him.

At some point, Martin circled the night watchman’s car as he followed him through the neighborhood, Zimmerman said, then the teenager disappeared into the "darkness."

"The dispatcher told me 'Where are you?' and I said 'I am trying to find out where he went,' and he said, 'We don't need you to do that,' and I said 'OK," Zimmerman told the investigator.

Zimmerman then started to head back to his car, he said, but never got there.

"He [Martin] jumped out from the bushes, and he said 'What the [expletive] is your problem, homie?' And I got my cell phone out to call 911 this time, and I said, 'I don't have a problem.' And he goes, 'Now you have a problem,' and he punched me in the nose," Zimmerman told the investigator.

Zimmerman said the blow knocked him to the ground and Martin got on top of him.

"He puts his hand on my nose and my mouth, and he says 'You are going to die tonight," said Zimmerman. "As he banged my head again, I just pulled out my firearm and shot him… He is mounted on top of me, and I just shot him, and he falls off. And he's, like, ‘Alright you got it, you got it.’”

Zimmerman met with police the day after the shooting to walk them through what he says happened the night he shot Martin. This interview was videotaped and also played for jurors on Monday.

The lead investigator on the case, Chris Serino, met with Zimmerman briefly the night of the shooting and again three days later. He was the same officer who responded to the Martin family’s missing persons report, and he had some tough questions for Zimmerman to answer. He wanted to know why Zimmerman never identified himself as a neighborhood watch captain.

"Was it fear, precaution, safety or all of the above?" asked Serino.

"I didn’t want to confront him," said Zimmerman.

Zimmerman insisted several times during this second interview that he didn’t follow Martin and that he only exited his vehicle to find a street sign so he could give the location to police. Serino wanted to know why, after three years of living there, Zimmerman didn’t know the names of the streets in his neighborhood.

"To be honest with you, I have a bad memory anyway," said Zimmerman.

Serino also wanted Zimmerman to tell him why he felt Martin looked suspicious.

"He was looking at the house intently, the same house I had called about before. He stopped in front of the house," said Zimmerman. "You know what, he’s not walking briskly to get out of the rain. He didn’t look like a marathon runner who trains in the rain. He was just walking slowly and I said something’s off. So that’s why I called non-emergency."

Serino went on to play that call that Zimmerman made to police, stopping it along the way to press Zimmerman on certain statements he made, such as when he said the suspect looked like he was on drugs.

"On drugs, why?" asked Serino.

"He kept looking around. Looking behind him, just kept shifting where he was looking," said Zimmerman.

"'Something's wrong with him' -- what's that statement?" asks Serino.

"I don't know," said Zimmerman.

At another point in the call, Zimmerman insisted to Serino that he wasn’t following Martin, saying, "I was just going in the same direction as he was.”

"That's following," Serino responded.

Serino also pointed out a specific point in the call where he says it would have taken Zimmerman a minute and 20 seconds to return to his car.

"You're in the rain getting wet… you see where the obstacle is here? I want you to think about that. I'm speaking for you... it doesn't sound like you quite recall exactly what happened at that point,” said Serino. "It sounds like you're looking for him... you want to catch the bad guy. [Expletive] punk can’t get away... Did you pursue this kid? Did you want to catch him?"

"No," said Zimmerman.

The investigator then played a 911 call made by one of Zimmerman’s neighbors, which captures screaming in the background and the gunshot that killed Martin.

"You hear that voice in the background? That's you. You hear yourself?" asked Serino.

"That doesn't even sound like me," said Zimmerman.

“I can’t pinpoint where you were smothered, that’s the problem I’m having,” said Serino. "We don’t hear [Martin] at all either. Is he being quiet? Is he whispering to you or something? Is he calm?"

"He’s on top of me and he’s telling me to, ‘Shut the [expletive] up, shut the [expletive] up,’” said Zimmerman.

When defense attorney Mark O’Mara got his chance to cross-examine Serino, he tried to downplay some of the Serino’s aggressive questioning, referring to it as a “challenge interview” and calling it a police technique.

“It's either going to tell you that you got him... or it may confirm that he's, for the most part, telling you the truth," said O'Mara.

"Yes sir," said Serino

"In this case, you didn’t have much to hit him with?" asked O'Mara.

"No, sir, I did not," said Serino.

At one point during his interview with Zimmerman, Serino bluffed that he may have video of the incident shot on Martin’s cellphone.

"I believe [Zimmerman’s] words were, 'Thank God, I was hoping somebody would videotape it,'" said Serino. "Either he was telling the truth or he was a complete pathological liar. One of the two."

Serino says nothing indicated to him that Zimmerman was a liar.

"You think he was telling the truth?" asked O'Mara.

"Yes," said Serino.

Earlier Monday, in a surprise move, prosecutors called FBI senior scientist Hirotaka Nakasone to the stand to testify on whether it was possible to conduct voice analysis of the screams on a 911 call from the night of the shooting.

Nakasone has already testified as a defense witness in an evidentiary hearing about the admissibility of voice analysis technology, and was slated to be called by the defense during its case.

Nakasone said the science of voice recognition cannot reliably identify the screams on the call, but he did say that someone who knows whoever was screaming on the call may be the best person to identify the voice. Prosecutors may have called Nakasone to help support the testimony of Martin's parents, who may testify that they recognize the screams as coming from their son.

Referring to the limitations of the technology, defense attorney Don West asked, "Science really doesn't help us in this case figure out who is screaming?”

"Unfortunately, that is correct," said Nakasone.

Testimony is scheduled to resume at 9 a.m. ET Tuesday, when lead investigator Serino is expected to get back on the stand and continue answering questions from the defense.

HLN is live-blogging Zimmerman's trial. Click here for HLN's live blog of Friday's testimony. Read below for minute-by-minute updates:

5:57 p.m. ET: The judge has recessed court for the day. Testimony will resume Tuesday morning at 9 a.m. ET.

5:56 p.m. ET: Serino had told Zimmerman he believed Martin may have videotaped the incident.

"I believe his words were, 'Thank God, I was hoping somebody would videotape it,'" said Serino. "Either he was telling the truth or he was a complete pathological liar. One of the two."

Serino says nothing indicated to him that Zimmerman was a pathological liar.

"You think he was telling the truth?" asked O'Mara.

"Yes," said Serino.

5:52 p.m. ET: There was a pause in Zimmerman's timeline that concerned Serino.

"It just seemed excessive," he said.

5:50 p.m. ET: Serino had asked Zimmerman why he didn't identify himself as neighborhood watch.

"Did his answer to you, satisfy you?" asked O'Mara.

"Not necessarily, "said Serino. "He had made reference to mentoring children, specifically African America children. Why it didn't occur to him to try and say something to someone he was following..."

"In hindsight, that might have resolved things?" asked O'Mara.

"Of course," said Serino.

5:48 p.m. ET: Zimmerman's injuries were life-threatening in Serino's opinion.

5:45 p.m. ET: Serino says there were "external concerns" about Zimmerman profiling Martin. Zimmerman told him he would have acted the same if the person was white.

5:43 p.m. ET: "Regardless of what was going on, I still kept an open mind that he could be a victim," said Serino, in reference to telling Zimmerman that he would have to go to bat for him.

5:42 p.m. ET: "In this case, you didn’t have much to hit him with?" asked O'Mara.

"No sir, I did not," said Serino.

5:41 p.m. ET: "It was more challenging than the first interview. But on a scale of challenging interviews it was mild," said Serino.

5:39 p.m. ET: "'It's either going to tell you that you got him... or it may confirm that he's for the most part, telling you the truth," said O'Mara.

"Yes sir," said Serino. He said he was being gentle and didn't have anything he was ready to challenge Zimmerman with yet.

5:36 p.m. ET: "That's where you go in and try to undermine an interviewee's story to them. Or you challenged them -- we go back and forth, first you're being nice then you're not being nice. You set them up and you knock them down," said O'Mara.

Serino says the idea is to discover truth.

5:34 p.m. ET: Serino says he was under pressure to get the case moving forward. He says he wasn't ready for a "challenge interview" with Zimmerman.

5:32 p.m. ET: Serino says he spent most of the night of the shooting trying to identify Martin. He also says there were no witnesses who could say how it all started except for Zimmerman.

5:28 p.m. ET: The jury is being seated.

5:25 p.m. ET: The court reporter is reading Serino's testimony back in court.

5:22 p.m. ET: The judge has dismissed the jurors to take up a matter outside of their presence.

5:19 p.m. ET: The attorneys are at a sidebar.

5:18 p.m. ET: Serino says Zimmerman's recreation video didn't have inconsistencies with the witness statements he was able to collect.

Defense attorney O'Mara asks Serino if his evidence at the time supported self-defense.

"I had information that would have supported that, yes sir," said Serino.

5:14 p.m. ET: Defense attorney O'Mara asks Serino for any inconsistencies between Zimmerman's recreation with police and his first interviews with investigators.

"I can't think of none off hand. None that come to mind right now," said Serino.

Serino says he expects some inconsistencies in a person's stories.

"We're not robots as people," said Serino.

5:11 p.m. ET: Zimmerman was "a little more animated" the next day, according to Serino, for the recreation he did with police.

5:08 p.m. ET: Serino says there was nothing in Zimmerman's first interview with him that contradicted the evidence he had at that point.

5:05 p.m. ET: Zimmerman had said he was unavailable the next day because he had class.

"It just appeared odd that he had that on his mind based off of what just happened to him... it struck me as being different," said Serino.

It was also concerning to Serino that Zimmerman had plans to go to work the next morning but Serino says there was nothing in Zimmerman's words that suggested an uncaring attitude.

5:01 p.m. ET: When it came to anxiety and nightmares, Serino says he was more worried about them being caused by Zimmerman having feared for his life, not the physical trauma.

4:57 p.m. ET: Serino says Zimmerman seemed flat. He offered to get him any help he needed and told him he might experience anxiety and nightmares because of the shooting. The attorneys are at a sidebar.

4:54 p.m. ET: O'Mara asks Serino if he had an concerns with Zimmerman's story the first time he talked with him, after having talked to some witnesses.

"I had none at that time," said Serino.

"Did he seem to be sidestepping your answers in any form or way?" asked O'Mara.

"No sir," said Serino.

"Did he seem to do anything that evidenced to you that he was being less than straightforward with you?" asked O'Mara.

"No, he was being straightforward in my opinion," said Serino.

4:50 p.m. ET: The attorneys are at a sidebar.

4:49 p.m. ET: Serino says you want to "lock them into a statement" so "the information he provides can be as pristine as possible without being contaminated by outside influences." He says Singleton had the first interview with Zimmerman and that he wasn't infected with any information while he was waiting for his interview with Serino.

4:46 p.m. ET: "[He was] always was willing to answer all of your questions?" asked O'Mara.

"Completely, yes," said Serino.

"Did he evidence any anger or disdain towards Mr. Martin?" asked O'Mara.

"No sir," said Serino.

4:43 p.m. ET: Serino says no areas of concern stuck out to him immediately in the case.

4:41 p.m. ET: Serino says he interviewed eyewitness John Good before talking to Zimmerman. He also spoke to several other "earwitnesses" before speaking to Zimmerman.

4:38 p.m. ET: Serino tells defense attorney O'Mara that he became the chief investigating officer on the case. He says he determined what needed to be followed up on and delegated interviews to other officers. Serino says he hasn't testified on any of these aspects of the case, just the statements made by Zimmerman.

4:36 p.m. ET: A medical examiner's photo shows Martin's bare chest and the gunshot wound that killed him. Serino says he showed it to Zimmerman to show him how skinny Martin was in relationship to Zimmerman. Prosecutor de la Rionda has finished his direct examination.

4:33 p.m. ET: Zimmerman's sister is in court today.

4:30 p.m. ET: The attorneys are at a sidebar.

4:29 p.m. ET: At about 52 minutes into the interview, prosecutor de la Rionda points out what Zimmerman says the screams don't even sound like him. There are three streets in the neighborhood, according to Serino.

4:28 p.m. ET: The jury is being seated.

4:26 p.m. ET: The judge is on the bench and the attorneys are at a sidebar.

4:07 p.m. ET: The audio has ended. Prosecutor de la Rionda points out that Zimmerman said the screaming for help didn't even sound like him. Serino remembers Zimmerman saying that. The judge has dismissed court for a 15-minute recess.

4:06 p.m. ET: “I can’t pinpoint where you were smothered, that’s the problem I’m having,” said Serino. "We don’t hear him at all either. Is he being quiet? Is he whispering? Is he calm?"

"He’s on top of me and he’s telling me to, ‘Shut the [expletive] up, shut the [expletive] up,’” said Zimmerman.

4:03 p.m. ET: Serino plays a 911 call for Zimmerman, which was made by a neighbor and captures screaming in the background.

"You hear that voice in the background? That's you. You hear yourself?" asked Serino.

"That doesn't even sound like me," said Zimmerman.

Serino starts playing the 911 call again.

4:01 p.m. ET: Serino says it took Zimmerman a minute and 20 seconds to walk back to his car. He asks Zimmerman if he stopped at the T in the sidewalk. Zimmerman says no.

"You're in the rain getting wet... you see where the obstacle is here? I'm speaking for you... it doesn't sound like you quite recall exactly what happened at that point... It sounds like you're looking for him... you want to catch the bad guy. [Expletive] punk can’t get away," said Serino. "Did you pursue this kid? Did you want to catch him?"

"No," said Zimmerman.

3:56 p.m. ET: "It sounds like you're running, too," said Singleton.

"No, it was just windy," said Zimmerman.

3:55 p.m. ET: "At this point he has to be hiding from you?" asked Serino.

"I don't remember," said Zimmerman.

"The law of physics says he's hiding from you. He couldn't have made it home and come back to attack you in that time," said Serino.

"I wasn't following him, I was just going in the same direction as he was," said Zimmerman.

"That's following," said Serino.

3:52 p.m. ET: "It sounds like he's running as to get away from you... but what kind of run was it? You can't say?" asked Serino.

3:50 p.m. ET: "'Something's wrong with him' -- what's that statement?" asks Serino.

"I don't know," said Zimmerman.

Singleton is asking him where he is and Zimmerman says he doesn't remember.

3:48 p.m. ET: Serino starts playing Zimmerman's non-emergency call for him. He stops it and asks Zimmerman to explain again why Martin looked suspicious. He also stops it when Zimmerman says the suspect was on drugs.

"On drugs, why?" asked Serino.

"He kept looking around. Looking behind him, just kept shifting where he was looking," said Zimmerman.

3:46 p.m. ET: Serino tells Zimmerman to close his eyes and put himself back in the zone from that night.

"What the [expletive] is your problem?" asks Serino.

"I don't have a problem," said Zimmerman.

"What did you say the first time he hit you?" asked Serino.

"I don't think I said a thing," said Zimmerman.

Serino jokes that the one-word association thing never works and the video ends. Serino and Zimmerman move to Serino's desk. The next part is audio.

3:43 p.m. ET: Zimmerman says he had his flashlight in his hand but it wasn't working.

3:41 p.m. ET: "I didn't want to confront him. I was happy he was staying in the area so the police could question him," said Zimmerman.

3:39 p.m. ET: "He can see you're following him... instead of having conversation with him, you put up your window?" Singleton asked.

"Yes ma'am," said Zimmerman.

She explains how that might have seemed creepy to Martin.

3:38 p.m. ET: Zimmerman says he didn't want to give the operator his address because he was afraid Martin was still within earshot.

"He came up out of nowhere. I didn't even see him," said Zimmerman. "So when he popped up, he just caught me off guard."

3:34 p.m. ET: Zimmerman says the operator never told him to stay in his car, just to not follow Martin.

In reference to Martin having his hand in his waistband: "I thought he was just trying to look tough or intimidating," said Zimmerman.

"You didn't think he had a weapon?" Singleton asked.

"No, not at the time," said Zimmerman.

3:32 p.m. ET: Zimmerman says he has an unsecured holster for his gun.

"He was mounted on me but he had pressure on my mouth and nose, suffocating me," said Zimmerman. He says Martin eventually let go of his mouth and nose. "That's when I grabbed his hand and grabbed my firearm and fired. Once he let go that I realized I didn't need my hand and he was going to kill me," said Zimmerman.

3:30 p.m. ET: Serino asks Zimmerman why he doesn't know the street names after living in the neighborhood for three years.

"To be honest with you, I have a bad memory anyway," said Zimmerman.

3:28 p.m. ET: Serino asks Zimmerman if he told Martin he was neighborhood watch. Zimmerman says no. Serino says that maybe if he did, they wouldn't be there.

"Was it fear, precaution, safety or all of the above?" asked Serino.

"I didn’t want to confront him," said Zimmerman. Serino says Martin may have perceived him as a threat and that when he was reaching in his waistband, he may have been reaching for his soft drink.

Singleton, the other officer in the room, asks why Zimmerman ran after Martin if he was afraid of him.

"I didn’t run after him, no. I walked to find a street name or a street sign," said Zimmerman.

3:24 p.m. ET: "I ended up on my back and he was on top of me, mounted. And he kept punching me and when I started yelling for help, that’s when he grabbed my head and started slamming it," said Zimmerman.

3:22 p.m. ET: "He was looking at the house intently, the same house I had called about before. He stopped in front of the house," said Zimmerman. "You know what, he’s not walking briskly to get out of the rain. He didn’t look like a marathon runner who trains in the rain. He was just walking slowly and I said something’s off. So that’s why I called non-emergency."

Serino asks him about the "profiling" aspect of the incident. Zimmerman says he would have done the same thing if the person was white.

3:20 p.m. ET: Zimmerman tells Serino about another incident where he called the non-emergency number. He says he spotted a man looking into windows. Police cleared the house and said the doors and windows were all open. Zimmerman says that the next week, the same guy broke into a house and stole a laptop but maintenance guys gave police the guy's location and arrested him. 

3:17 p.m. ET: "Do you have any prior training in law enforcement at all?" asked Serino.

"Just the legal side of it," said Zimmerman. Serino asks if he has any training in how to identify suspicious people. Zimmerman mentions his neighborhood watch training.

3:14 p.m. ET: Zimmerman is read his Miranda Rights and is making small talk with Singleton. He asks her if she positioned herself strategically between him and a neighbor. She says she was just trying to hear the neighbor better.

3:10 p.m. ET: The prosecutor plays video of another interview Serino conducted with Zimmerman, this time on February 29, 2012.

3:07 p.m. ET: The video zooms into Zimmerman's injuries. There are two butterfly bandages on the back of his head. "He was just focused on my head," said Zimmerman.

3:06 p.m. ET: Zimmerman walks back to the car with investigators and tells them he saw something on his door about Martin living in the neighborhood. He also tells investigators about his broken nose and the cuts on the back of his head. "She says I could use stitches but she'd rather not put them in," said Zimmerman.

3:02 p.m. ET: Zimmerman says he thought he didn't shoot Martin because Martin sat up said something like, "You got me." He says he got on Martin's back, straddled him and spread his arms out, holding his hands down.

3:00 p.m. ET: "That’s when I started screaming for help -- ‘Help, help’ – as loud as I could," said Zimmerman. "I felt like my body was in the grass and my head was on the cement. He was slamming and slamming."

2:58 p.m. ET: "He looked back and he noticed me and he cut back through the houses… he had his hand in his waistband," said Zimmerman.

"And then I thought to get out and look for a street sign," said Zimmerman. He said he didn't see Martin anymore but was looking for an address. Dispatch asked him if he was following the person and told him not to so he says he started walking back to his vehicle.

2:52 p.m. ET: Zimmerman shows police where he says Martin was walking through homes.

"He was just leisurely looking at the house," said Zimmerman.

"He kept staring at me and kept staring around," said Zimmerman. "I don't understand why somebody would be stopping in the rain."

2:49 p.m. ET: The prosecutor is playing video of Zimmerman's walk-through of the neighborhood that he did with police.

2:48 p.m. ET: Serino says he became aware of a missing persons report for Martin the day after the shooting. Serino went and met with Martin's dad at his home, which is in Zimmerman's neighborhood, not far from where the shooting took place. Serino says Martin's dad identified him from a photograph of his body taken on the scene.

2:44 p.m. ET: Prosecutor de la Rionda shows Serino a close-up image of Martin's face after he was shot and pronounced dead. Serino says he showed this image to Zimmerman, who said he didn't know the young man.

2:42 p.m. ET: "When he came up to me, he said, 'You got a  problem?' and I said, 'No.' I went to reach for my phone… and then he said, 'You have a problem now’ and punched me in the face."

"He tried to smother my mouth and my nose. When he did that, I tried to slide out and squirm and realized my shirt came up. I felt him slide his hand toward my right side and said, 'You're going to die [expletive.]'" Zimmerman says Martin reached towards his gun and he shot him.

"He kind of sat up and said, 'You got me.' I don't remember if I pushed him or he fell," said Zimmerman.

"When he was hitting me I don't know what he was hitting me with... so I grabbed his hands when I was on top of him," said Zimmerman.

"He told me he was going to kill me," said Zimmerman.

2:38 p.m. ET: Serino starts to recount Zimmerman's story. He reported a suspicious person and called the non-emergency number for police.

"I want to retrace your path -- exactly what happened. I want to videotape this," said Serino.

2:35 p.m. ET: Serino had a brief interview with Zimmerman right after midnight and audio was recorded. That audio is being played in court.

2:34 p.m. ET: Martin was unidentified at the time. They tried facial recognition with the officers on scene, they canvases the area and also took fingerprints but found no match.

2:32 p.m. ET: The prosecution has called Chris Serino to the witness stand. He is a patrol officer for the Sanford Police Department. Zimmerman was not at the scene when he arrived, but Martin still was.

2:30 p.m. ET: Singleton has been excused but she is still subject to recall.

2:29 p.m. ET: The attorneys are at a sidebar.

2:28 p.m. ET: O'Mara asks Singleton if she had any evidence of Zimmerman having ill will, spite, hatred or animosity in her presence. She says no. Singleton says she would feel comfortable enough to re-holster her weapon if another officer arrived on scene or if the person she was apprehending was laying flat and not moving.

2:27 p.m. ET: Singleton says she can't say if it was Zimmerman who was screaming for help. Prosecutor de la Rionda has finished his questions.

2:25 p.m. ET: "You weren't able to get into Mr. Zimmerman's mind at the time he did the shooting, were you?"

"No," said Singleton.

2:23 p.m. ET: Prosecutor de la Rionda asks why Zimmerman would holster his gun if he was so afraid of Martin. The defense objects and the judge sustains. Singleton says she keeps a gun on a suspect until he or she is apprehended.

2:22 p.m. ET: Prosecutor de la Rionda asks Singleton if she's just giving her opinion and if it's up to the jury to decide which inconsistencies are significant. She agrees that it's up to the jury.

2:19 p.m. ET: Singleton is pointing out bushes and an air conditioner on a photo of the neighborhood. O'Mara asks if it's possible Martin could have appeared out of nowhere -- not out of the bushes -- and the prosecution objects. O'Mara has finished his cross-examination.

2:15  p.m. ET: Singleton says she wasn't concerned when Zimmerman told her he got on top of Martin after shooting him. She says she doesn't think it's unusual for Zimmerman to have called Martin a "suspect" when his name wasn't known.

2:13 p.m. ET: Singleton says she would have thought Zimmerman would know the street names since he's neighborhood watch.

2:12 p.m. ET: Zimmerman told investigators Martin both ran and walked away. Singleton noticed the inconsistency but didn't find it significant.

"I just assume that he had come in and out of view at least twice -- whether or not he was running or walking, I don't think mattered," said Singleton.

2:09 p.m. ET: Singleton says she didn't notice any inconsistencies with Zimmerman's statements.

"Most people don’t tell you the same story the same way each time," said Singleton. Traumatic events can effect someone's ability to retell stories multiple times, according to Singleton.

2:07 p.m. ET: “Did he evidence that he was angry with Trayvon Martin?” asked O’Mara.

“No,” said Singleton.

“That he had hatred toward him?” asked O’Mara.

“No,” said Singleton.

“That he had anything that would suggest to you a bad attitude towards Trayvon Martin?” asked O’Mara.

“No,” said Singleton.

2:05 p.m. ET: "He gave me like a blank stare on his face and said, 'What do you mean you don’t know the victim?'" He also said to her, "He's dead?!" Then she says Zimmerman hung his head down.

2:03 p.m. ET: O'Mara is asking Singleton about Zimmerman noticing her cross necklace. She says Zimmerman told her, "In the Catholic religion, it is always wrong to kill somebody." She says she told him, "If what you're telling me is truthful, then I don't believe that that is what God means when he means to kill somebody."

2:00 p.m. ET: Singleton says she didn't have any information that she could have given to Zimmerman. O'Mara asks if this was a "virgin" interview where she was getting all the information from Zimmerman. She says that's correct.

1:56 p.m. ET: The attorneys are at a sidebar.

1:53 p.m. ET: Singleton says Zimmerman didn't know of the evidence from the scene at the time because she didn't know about it. She now knows there was an eyewitness and 911 calls that documented the screams.

1:50 p.m. ET: Singleton says most people agree to talk with her. As soon as they refuse, she has to stop speaking to them until their attorney is present. Singleton says that never happened with Zimmerman, he never reserved his right to remain silent.

1:47 p.m. ET: "I wanted to be able to help people,” said Singleton. She says she’s glad she made the decision to go into law enforcement.

1:46 p.m. ET: Prosecutor de la Rionda has finished his direct examination. Now defense attorney Mark O’Mara is asking Singleton when she considered going into law enforcement.

1:45 p.m. ET: When Singleton talked about identifying the victim, Zimmerman said, "He's dead?!" She told him, "I thought you knew that." And then she says he "slung his head and shook it."

1:43 p.m. ET: Singleton says she was wearing a small cross and Zimmerman asked if she was Catholic, telling her, "In Catholic religion, it’s always wrong to kill somebody." She told him if it was really self-defense, God would excuse that.

1:41 p.m. ET: Prosecutor de la Rionda shows a DNA swab to Singleton. She says she was present when the sample was taken.

1:38 p.m. ET: Video of Zimmerman getting a DNA swab is played in court.

1:35 p.m. ET: When first seeing Zimmerman, Singleton says she saw he had some blood under his nose and some under one of his ears. She also noticed a cut on his nose.

1:31 p.m. ET: The judge is on the bench and the jury is being seated.

12:29 p.m. ET: Judge Nelson has recessed court for lunch. The live blog will pick back up when testimony resumes at 1:30 p.m. ET.

12:26 p.m. ET: Zimmerman's signed his sworn written statement.

 

12:24 p.m. ET: Occasionally, Singleton is having some difficulty reading Zimmerman written statement. The written statement seems to match up with what Zimmerman told Singleton during the recorded interview.

12:20 p.m. ET: De La Rionda is showing the jury Zimmerman's written statement. Singleton is reading the statement as it displayed on an overhead projector.

12:16 p.m. ET: Zimmerman's written statement is four pages long.

12:14 p.m. ET: Singleton also had Zimmerman make a written statement the night of the shooting.

12:11 p.m. ET: Zimmerman told Singleton he got out of the car to check an address on a townhome so he could give dispatch a better address for police officers responding to the scene.

12:08 p.m. ET: De La Rionda has zoomed into the map to show where Zimmerman was driving when he spotted Martin. The scribbles on the map were made by Zimmerman the night of the shooting.

12:03 p.m. ET: Zimmerman takes a few minutes to show Singleton on the map where everything took place the night of the shooting.

11:58 a.m. ET: Prosecutor De La Rionda stopped the map, and asked Singleton why she showed Zimmerman a Google map of the neighborhood during the interview the night of the shooting. She said she didn't completely understand the locations he was talking about. Zimmerman drew points on the map where he first saw Martin, and where the altercation occurred.

11:57 a.m. ET: "He puts his hand on my nose and my mouth, and he says 'you are going to die tonight," said Zimmerman on the recording..

"As he banged my head again, I just pulled out my firearm and shot him."

"He is mounted on top of me, and I just shot him, and he falls off. And he's like "Alright you got it, you got it."

11:55 a.m. ET: Zimmerman said, "He was wailing on my head, and I started yelling 'help.' When I started yelling for help he grabbed my head he started hitting my head into..."

11:53 a.m. ET: After Martin allegedly punched Zimmerman in the face, he fell down on the ground.

"I tried to defend myself. He just started punching me in the face, and I started screaming for help. I couldn't see. I couldn't breathe," said Zimmerman.

11:51 a.m. ET: Ziimmerman said he was walking back to his car, when Martin surprised him.

"He jumped out from the bushes, and he said 'what the [expletive] is your problem homie?' And I got my cell phone out to call 911 this time, and I said 'I don't have a problem.' And he goes, 'no now you have a problem,' and he punched me in the nose," said Zimmerman.

11:48 a.m. ET: Martin cut through the middle of Martin's neighborhood according to Zimmerman.

"The dispatcher told me 'Where are you?' And I said 'I am trying to find out where he went,' and he said 'We don't need you to do that,' And I said 'OK," said Zimmerman.

11:45 a.m. ET: Zimmerman tells Singleton said Martin circled his car, and then he went back into the "darkness," while he was on the phone with the police.

11:43 a.m. ET: Martin's father Tracy Martin is periodically closing his eyes as the recording of the police is played for the jurors.

11:41 a.m. ET: During the interview, Singleton retrieves Zimmerman's cell phone from outside the interview room. Zimmerman looks up the phone number of the president of his neighborhoods HOA so he can assist law enforcement in retrieve tapes recorded by the neighborhoods surveillance system.

11:39 a.m. ET: Zimmerman is not showing any emotion as the recording of his interview with police from the night of the shooting is played for the jury.

11:36 a.m. ET: Zimmerman told Singleton he did not recognize Martin as a resident of his neighborhood.

"He (Martin) was walking causally, and it looked like he was trying to get out of the rain," said Zimmerman.

11:33 a.m. ET: "There's been a few times where I have seen a suspicious person in the neighborhood, and would call the police non-emergency line, and these guys always get away," Zimmerman told investigator Singleton.

11:30 a.m. ET: Singleton asked Zimmerman to tell him what happened and why it ended in a boy getting shot.

"The neighborhood has had a lot of crimes." said Zimmerman on the recording of the police interview. "So I decided to start a neighborhood watch program in the neighborhood."

11:28 a.m. ET: Singleton notified Zimmerman the interview was being recorded.

11:27 a.m. ET: Prosecutors are now playing Singleton's interview with Zimmerman the night of the shooting. On the recording, Singleton can be heard reading Zimmerman's Miranda rights to him.

11:25 a.m. ET: Singleton saw that Zimmerman had blood on his nose, and the wound on his head was "actively bleeding."

11:23 a.m. ET: Singleton said she did not threaten Zimmerman that night to get him make statement. She also observed no indication that Zimmerman was under the influence of narcotics that night. Zimmerman said at the beginning of the interview he said he did not think he needed medical treatment, but later in the interview he said he was unsure if he needed medical treatement.

11:21 a.m. ET: Zimmerman was informed of his Miranda rights before being interviewed.

11:20 a.m. ET: Zimmerman was brought into an interview that was about 5 feet by 8 feet. She conducted an interview with Zimmerman, and it was recorded with audio equipment.

11:18 a.m. ET: The night of the shooting Singleton was told to report to the police department. She did not respond to the crime scene.

11:17 a.m. ET: Singleton was a narcotics investigators in February 2012, and she was on duty that night.

11:15 a.m. ET: Prosecutors have called Sanford Police Investigator Doris Singleton, the 24th witness for the prosecution.

11:13 a.m. ET: The jury is being seated.

11:11 a.m. ET: Prosecutor Bernie De La Rionda has asked the judge to consider some jury instructions he has hashed out with the defense.

11:09 a.m. ET: Zimmerman is back in the courtroom. Testimony should resume shortly.

10:54 a.m. ET: The attorneys have finished their questions for Nakasone, and he has been excused. Court is now in recess for 15 minutes.

10:53 a.m. ET: Nakasone said computers can not determine the emotion so investigators must rely on the trained ear.

10:51 a.m. ET: Prosecutor Mantei has finished his questions for Nakasone. Now West is asking him questions on re-cross examination.

10:49 a.m. ET: Nakasone is explaining how a group of people can create bias in the group when listening to a voice sample in attempting to identify the voice.

10:46 a.m. ET: Nakasone said he can only give law enforcement guidance, about to conduct voice analysis. He said he cannot control what methods they actually employ.

10:44 a.m. ET: West has finished his questions for Nakasone, and now prosecutor Mantei is now asking him questions on re-direct examination.

10:43 a.m. ET: West has asked for a moment to review his materials.

10:41 a.m. ET:

West asked, "I think with all of that what you are saying is science really doesn't help us in this case figure out who is screaming?

"Unfortunately, that is correct," said Nakasone.

10:38 a.m. ET: Nakasone said it is not possible to reliably determine an individual's age when analyzing their screams.

10:34 a.m. ET: West is asking Nakasone about how he determined whether the person on the 911 call was screaming under extreme stress or was in a life threatening situation.

"Yes it was uttered under an extreme emotional state." said Nakasone. Due to the extreme emotional state of the person screaming, Nakasone recommended to the FBI field agent investigating the Zimmerman case to not conduct voice analysis of the recording.

10:28 a.m. ET: Nakasone said a voice sample needs to be a certain length to establish the signature of someone's voice. He said a voice sample of normal speach that is 15 seconds can be analyzed, but the analysis would be better with a sample that is 30 seconds or longer.

10:25 a.m. ET: Nakasone said after isolating the screams on the 911 call he only had 2.5 seconds of clean of audio of the screams.

10:23 a.m. ET: West is moving a copy of Nakasone' resume into evidence. West said this version is more complete.

10:22 a.m. ET: West is asking Nakasone about examiner bias when a group of people are asked to recognize a voice when they listen to the sample while they are in a room together. Nakasone said there is a risk of bias in the results, because people can influence others perception.

10:13 a.m. ET: Nakasone is explaining how examiners conducting voice analysis can have a bias, and therefore it can affect their analysis in a negative way. The attorneys are now at a sidebar with the judge.

10:09 a.m. ET: West is asking Nakasone about his working with FBI and how he works with training field agents.

10:06 a.m. ET: Nakasone said voice analysis can be used for investigative purposes even if it is not admissible at trial.

10:03 a.m. ET: The science of voice recognition cannot reliably analyze screams at this stage according to Nakasone.

10:01 a.m. ET: Nakasone is explaining how MIST conducts analysis of voice samples.

9:58 a.m. ET: Nakasone said the mission of MIST is to promote the science behind voice recognition.

9:55 a.m. ET: West is asking Nakasone about a scientific group he works with that is trying to establish industry standards for voice analysis. Nakasone said he helped coordinate the working group, and this working is sponsored by the FBI. The acronym for the group is MIST.

9:52 a.m. ET: Nakasone is discussing his experience, and his current work in the field of voice analysis.

9:49 a.m. ET: Prosecutor Mantei has finished his direct examination of Nakasone, and now defense Don West is asking him questions.

9:47 a.m. ET: "We intentionally or unintentionally are recording the perceptual features of the persons voice. When he is speaking normally, slowly, excited, emotional all of this is storied in the brain," said Nakasone.

9:43 a.m. ET: Nakasone is explaining how a trained human ear can distinguish and analyze voices as well.

9:39 a.m. ET: Nakasone said a person's pitch can change when screaming or under the duress of an extreme emotional state.

9:36 a.m. ET: Prosecutor Mantei asked Nakasone to explain what pitch means. Nakasone said it is the perception of the vibration of the vocal cords.

9:33 a.m. ET: Nakasone could not make a comparison or analysis in Zimmerman's case, because the sample qualtiy was too poor.

9:31 a.m. ET: Nakasone was able to isolate about a three second sample of screaming from the 911 call.

9:29 a.m. ET: "We cannot really analyze any voice which is stepped over by something else or superimposed with other people's voice," said Nakasone.

9:27 a.m. ET: Nakasone received multiple voice samples in this case to analyze. One of the samples was the 911 call from the night of the shooting that has screams in the background.

9:24 a.m. ET: Nakasone said the distance the microphone is away from the source of the voice has an impact on the quality on the sample.

9:21 a.m. ET: The voice sample must be a certain length and quality in order to conduct a reliable voice analysis according to Nakasone.

9:19 a.m. ET: Nakasone said the first step in voice analysis is to examine the quality of the sample or recording.

9:17 a.m. ET: Prosecutor Rich Mantei has asked Nakasone to explain the methods people in his field use for voice analysis.

9:15 a.m. ET: Nakasone has had 30 or 40 peer reviewed articles published in a variety of industry publications.

9:13 a.m. ET: Nakasone is talking about the research he has conducted in computer assisted voice analysis systems.

9:10 a.m. ET: Nakasone is explaining his resume and education. He is a senior scientist for the FBI, and he conducts voice analysis for bureau.

9:08 a.m. ET: Prosecutors have called Dr. Hirotaka Nakasone to the stand. He testified as a a defense voice analysis expert for during the Frye Hearing.

9:06 a.m. ET: The attorneys are at a sidebar with the judge.

9:02 a.m. ET: Zimmmerman is in the courtroom. Judge Nelson is on the bench, and the jury is being seated.

 

8:22 a.m. ET: From HLN's producer in the courtroom: The court deputy has informed HLN that the attorneys have resolved any issues they had -- so no hearing--testimony will resume at it's usual time of 9:00 am.

8:00 a.m. ET: Court is scheduled to begin at 8:30 a.m. ET.

 

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