Zimmerman doesn't testify; defense rests

NEED TO KNOW
  • Closing arguments set for 1 p.m. ET Thursday; Watch on HLN
  • Zimmerman is charged with second-degree murder for killing 17-year-old Trayvon Martin on Feb. 26, 2012
  • HLN is covering the George Zimmerman trial live, gavel to gavel
Zimmerman doesn't testify; defense rests

Both sides in Zimmerman trial beat up a dummy

Both sides in Zimmerman trial beat up a dummy

Watch: Judge Nelson vs. Don West

Watch: Judge Nelson vs. Don West

George Zimmerman trial: 84 evidence photos

George Zimmerman trial: 84 evidence photos

HLN is live-blogging the George Zimmerman trial. Scroll down below the story to read real-time updates of the day's proceedings

After nearly three weeks of testimony, the George Zimmerman trial is winding down with closing arguments slated for Thursday.

The defense rested its case Wednesday after the man accused of killing 17-year Trayvon Martin told the judge he will not testify in his own defense.

Robert Zimmerman Sr., the final witness for the defense, told jurors he listened to the 911 call made by a neighbor at least six times and identified the screaming in the background as belonging to his son.

"I told them absolutely, it’s my son George," said Robert Zimmerman.

A neighbor also testified on Wednesday about being home alone with a “pair of rusty scissors” in one hand and her infant son in the other as two men broke into her home and stole her camera and computer.

Olivia Bertalan said she discussed the August 3, 2011, incident with Zimmerman about 20 times.

"Were you appreciative of his efforts to help you out?" asked defense attorney Mark O'Mara.

"Very, we were terrified when this happened... I was just appreciative that he was offering his hand and had told me I could spend time with his wife if I needed to go somewhere during the day," said Bertalan.

Nelson ruled Wednesday that jurors will not see Martin's text messages, which purportedly show he had been in fights and was trying to purchase a gun. She also ruled that the defense’s 3D re-creation of the altercation between Zimmerman and Martin will not be allowed in as evidence, but the jury will be able to view it as a demonstration.

INTERACTIVE TIMELINE: The George Zimmerman Case

Attorneys for both the defense and the prosecution straddled a dummy in the courtroom as they questioned defense witness Dennis Root, a former police officer and force expert.

Prosecutor John Guy attempted to show that Zimmerman wouldn't be able to reach for his gun if Martin was straddling him like he said he was. Defense attorney Mark O'Mara then demonstrated alternate positions where it may have been possible for Zimmerman to reach for his gun with Martin on top. O'Mara also slammed the head of the dummy against the courtroom floor, asking Root if this motion could have caused Zimmerman's injuries.

"Based on the injuries depicted in the photographs, they were consistent with a fight, a physical fist fight," said Root, who has extensive training with hand-to-hand combat and firearms.

Root estimated the fight between Zimmerman and Martin lasted for at least 40 seconds.

Gallery: 84 evidence photos from the George Zimmerman trial

"[People in law enforcement] have a golden rule. If you have not successfully completed the fight, if you have not won the fight in 30 seconds, change tactics because the tactics you are using are not working," said Root.

During cross-examination, Root said that he did not think Zimmerman had the ability to fight back against Martin's attack, but he does believe that Zimmerman tried to defend himself.  

Zimmerman, a former neighborhood watch captain, is charged with second-degree murder for killing Martin in Sanford, Florida, on February 26, 2012. Martin was walking through Zimmerman’s neighborhood that night when Zimmerman saw him and told police that he looked suspicious. The two got into a physical fight, and Zimmerman said he was forced to draw his gun and shoot Martin in self-defense. 

"There's a lot of things that if I was in that same situation [as Zimmerman], I would have most certainly done differently," said Root. Most notably, Root said he would have identified himself as a neighborhood watch captain upon approaching a person.

Ultimately, the decision on whether to testify falls solely on the defendant, and the question of whether Zimmerman should have taken the stand has created a lot of debate among legal experts. HLN's Nancy Grace said if she were representing Zimmerman, she would have advised him not to take the stand, because conventional wisdom says a defendant shouldn't take the stand and expose himself to intense cross-examination.

"Look at what happened to Jodi Arias and her 18 days on the stand. It turned the jury against her," Grace said. "Casey Anthony didn't take the stand, and we saw what happened there -- an acquittal."

On Monday, Nelson ruled that jurors would be allowed to hear about marijuana found in Martin’s system the night he was shot. However, the defense did not present Martin's toxicology report to the jury or present any evidence of how the drug could have affected Martin's behavior.

After the defense wrapped its case, the prosecution started to present a rebuttal case, calling a gym owner who trained Zimmerman back to the stand.

Prosecutor Mantei asked Adam Pollock if he was marketing Zimmerman's training on his website.

"Absolutely not," said Pollock.

The defense objected to this line of questioning and the judge told prosecutors they couldn't call a witness during their rebuttal case, just to impeach him.

The defense had some objections concerning the prosecution's second rebuttal witness. Prosecutor Mantei said they changed their mind about calling this witness.

The third rebuttal witness, a law enforcement agent who says Zimmerman allegedly attacked him, may or may not be available to testify on Thursday.

"The defense has gone to great lengths [to show] that the defendant is... largely incapable of fighting. I think this agent would offer a different perspective on that,” said Mantei.

If the agent is available, then the attorneys will continue making arguments about his testimony on Thursday. Otherwise, the judge has told attorneys to return to court at 9 a.m. ET to continue discussions on jury instructions. The prosecution wants two lesser charges, manslaughter and aggravated assault, to be included but the defense has objected.

The judge scheduled closing arguments for 1 p.m. ET on Thursday and said the prosecution can present its rebuttal argument on Friday morning. The jury will then begin its deliberations.

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

5:40 p.m. ET: Defense attorney O'Mara asks if it makes more sense to do all of the closing arguments on Friday so they happen on the same day, instead of splitting them up.

"The reason I told you what schedule I wanted is because it makes sense to me," said the judge. She then dismissed the court.

5:38 p.m. ET: The defense has requested that closing arguments be delayed. The judge delays them until 1 p.m. ET on Thursday. She says the prosecution will present its rebuttal argument on Friday morning and the jury will be charged after that.

The judge tells the attorneys to return at 9 a.m. ET to go over jury instructions.

5:37 p.m. ET: The prosecution and defense both say there are no additional special instructions they want included on the jury instructions (aside from the other issues they've reserved until tomorrow).

5:33 p.m. ET: The judge says "justifiable use of deadly force" (stand your ground) will also be discussed tomorrow, in regards to the jury instructions.

5:32 p.m. ET: Prosecutors want manslaughter and aggravated assault to be included as lesser charges in the jury instructions. The defense objects and the judge says they will take up this matter on Thursday.

5:29 p.m. ET: The judge wants to go over the jury instructions with the attorneys.

5:26 p.m. ET: The attorneys are at a sidebar. Donnelly is a former Vietnam combat medic who testified earlier in the trial that he heard Zimmerman's voice yelling for help on the 911 call. His testimony will remain in.

5:24 p.m. ET: The judge says the court is "very, very, very" concerned about the rule of sequestration. She also says the witness list was long and it's hard to notify everyone about the rule of sequestration, especially considering that most witnesses didn't end up testifying. She also says she can't determine if Donnelly changed his testimony based on what he heard the two days he was in the courtroom. The judge has denied the prosecution's sanctions against this witness.

5:15 p.m. ET: The defense says Donnelly was present for the second and third days of trial. Defense attorney O'Mara goes over some of the testimony he may have heard and says the family wanted him present in the courtroom. When defense attorney West saw Donnelly, he says he told him he couldn't be in the courtroom because he was a witness. Donnelly reportedly told West he didn't know he wasn't allowed to be in the courtroom. West says this would be the attorney's fault for not telling him about the rule of sequestration.

4:57 pm.. ET: Prosecutor Mantei is making legal arguments about why the testimony of a defense witness, John Donnelly, should be stricken from the record. He says Donnelly was in court for two days and observed the testimony of several witnesses.

Mantei also says John Good violated the witness sequestration order by meeting with the defense about their computer animation.

Olivia Bertalan, according to Mantei, also violated the sequestration order by watching some trial coverage on television.

Mantei isn't suggesting a remedy regarding Bertalan and Good.

4:45 p.m. ET: The judge tells the jurors she's dismissing them until 10 a.m. ET on Thursday.

4:44 p.m. ET: The jury is being seated.

4:40 p.m. ET: The judge says she wants to tell the jury that closing arguments will begin Thursday. Both sides say they'll need three hours (for the prosecution, this would also include their rebuttal argument, which is after the defense's closing argument).

4:38 p.m. ET: The judge says they can discuss the testimony of this agent in the morning, if he's available to testify.

4:37 p.m. ET: Defense attorney O'Mara says Zimmerman's charge of battery on a law enforcement officer was dropped to a misdemeanor immediately. He also says the agents were in plain clothes and had grabbed one of Zimmerman's friends. O'Mara also questions this incident being called an "attack."

4:34 p.m. ET: The prosecutor is now discussing the testimony of a witness he wants to call on Thursday. He's an agent who says Zimmerman allegedly attacked him.

"The defense has gone to great lengths that the defendant is... largely incapable of fighting. I think this agent would offer a different perspective on that,” said Mantei.

4:32 p.m. ET: The defense says it has some issues with the presentation of the prosecution's next witness. The prosecution tells the judge it won't be calling this witness now.

4:31 p.m. ET: The judge tells the prosecution that it's calling Pollock, a prosecution witness, just so it can impeach him, which she won't allow in their rebuttal. The prosecution says the sole purpose of the testimony was to ask him about his website, so there's no reason for him to come back into the courtroom.

4:29 p.m. ET: Defense attorney O'Mara says Pollock wouldn't have any financial interest in saying Zimmerman was soft and a "0.5" on a scale of 1 to 10.

4:26 p.m. ET: The judge is back on the bench and prosecutor Mantei is presenting case law discussing how a witness's possible bias should be presented to jurors. He says he's not calling Pollock to impeach him, he wants Pollock to impeach the testimony of Root.

4:22 p.m. ET: HLN found the following section on Pollock’s website, which is still active: http://www.kogym.com/zimmerman.htm

We believe this is what prosecutor Mantei is referring to when he asked Pollock if he’s marketing the training he gave Zimmerman.

4:01 p.m. ET: The judge has dismissed the jury and recesses court for 15 minutes.

3:56 p.m. ET: The attorneys are still in a sidebar.

3:47 p.m. ET: The prosecution has called its first rebuttal witness, Adam Pollock, to the stand. Pollock owns the gym where Zimmerman took grappling and boxing classes. He testified earlier for the defense and said Zimmerman had no fighting skills.

"Are you now marketing the training that you gave George Zimmerman on your website?" asked prosecutor Richard Mantei.

"Absolutely not," said Pollock. The defense has objected and the attorneys are at a sidebar.

3:45 p.m. ET: Defense attorney Mark O'Mara says the defense has rested its case.

3:43 p.m. ET: The jury is being brought back in. The judge tells the defense it needs to rest on the record, in front of the jurors.

3:41 p.m. ET: The judge says there's substantial evidence, both direct and circumstantial, that allows this case to go to the jury.

3:37 p.m. ET: The prosecution says it plans to put on a rebuttal case with at least two witnesses. Defense attorney O'Mara is making his argument as to why the case should be acquitted.

3:36 p.m. ET: The judge asks Zimmerman what his decision is about testifying.

"After consulting with counsel, not to testify your honor," said Zimmerman.

3:34 p.m. ET: The defense now wants part of an interview with Martin's friend, Rachel Jeantel, entered into evidence. The judge wants to verify if this was played in front of the jury. O'Mara says there seems to be an issue that they need to fix.

3:30 p.m. ET: O'Mara is now going over photos, which the defense wants entered into evidence.

3:28 p.m. ET: Our producer, who inside the courtroom, says the prosecutors were huddling during this recess. The judge is on the bench and the defense is asking if the defense timeline can be entered into evidence. The prosecution says it wants to look at the times to make sure they're accurate but doesn't have any objections.

3:14 p.m. ET: The judge asks Zimmerman if he wants his attorneys to call any more witnesses.

"No, your honor," said Zimmerman. She tells him that she'll ask him, after the recess, whether or not he plans to testify.

3:12 p.m. ET: The judge has dismissed court for a 15-minute recess.

3:11 p.m. ET: Robert Zimmerman says he has listened to the tapes "at least" six times. He has been excused but the prosecution says he is subject to recall.

3:10 p.m. ET: The defense has called Robert Zimmerman Sr., George Zimmerman's father, to the stand. He describes where he first heard the 911 tape with the screams in the background and says he was still under oath when he was asked if the screams belonged to his son.

"I told them absolutely, it’s my son George," said Robert Zimmerman.

3:07 p.m. ET: The defense has finished its questions and Bertalan has been excused.

3:06 p.m. ET: Bertalan says Zimmerman gave her a lock for her sliding glass door, which she didn't find weird. She says she was very appreciative for his help. She also says police told her to get a dog, which she did.

3:05 p.m. ET: "Were you appreciative of his efforts to help you out?" asked O'Mara.

"Very, we were terrified when this happened... I was just appreciative that he was offering his hand and had told me I could spend time with his wife if I needed to go somewhere during the day," said Bertalan.

3:03 p.m. ET: Bertalan says she heard part of the trial, where Zimmerman's uncle testified. She says she hasn't tweeted about the trial this week, says she follows defense attorney O'Mara on Twitter and says she was on Nancy Grace discussing the case in the past. Guy has concluded his cross-examination.

3:01 p.m. ET: Bertalan says Zimmerman visited her the day the break-in happened. They didn't know each other before, he had just heard about the incident. She told him about the race, age and sex of the people who broke in. She says she discussed the case with Zimmerman about 20 times and says the police eventually told them one of the suspects lived in their neighborhood and was arrested.

2:57 p.m. ET: The defense has withdrawn its objection to the prosecutor's line of questioning and the jury is being brought back in.

2:55 p.m. ET: The judge has dismissed the jury while prosecutor Guy asks Bertalan about her conversations with Zimmerman. She says Zimmerman came to her home to talk to her because he had heard she was a victim.

2:53 p.m. ET: The defense has called Olivia Bertalan to the witness stand. She used to live in Zimmerman's neighbor and says a crime had been committed in her home in the past. She describes the incident where two young black men rang her door bell several times and then broke in.

"I was locked in my son’s bedroom and he was shaking the door knob trying to get in. I was sitting there with a pair of rusty scissors and my son in my arm," said Bertalan. She says police came and the men eventually left. They allegedly took her camera, laptop and tried to take her TV.

The incident happened on August 2, 2011 and she eventually moved because of the break-in.

2:48 p.m. ET: Root has been excused and the prosecution says he is subject to being recalled. The defense wants to discuss him being recalled in a sidebar but the judge says they'll talk about it later.

2:47 p.m. ET: "Based on the information I received... Mr. Zimmerman was not one to enter into the ring, he was not confrontational. Everything I reviewed in the case would indicate the opposite," said Root. He also says Zimmerman didn't have "that inner fire that compels you to be a fighter."

2:45 p.m. ET: Prosecutor Guy has completed his questions.

2:42 p.m. ET: Guy gets down on the ground to show how the gun could be shot at different angles as the shooter is laying on his or her back. Root agrees that anything is possible but it's about what's probable. 

2:39 p.m. ET: Guy makes the point that the wrist and hand move separately from the body, so can't that attribute to the angle of the gunshot wound.

"Anything is possible, that doesn't make it plausible," said Root.

2:37 p.m. ET: After being hit in the nose, Root says he continues to fight because he's a fighter and that's what fighters do. He says he has also seen a hit in the nose stop a fight.

2:35 p.m. ET: Root says this is the first time he's testified in this manner, for a criminal defendant, in front of a jury.

2:33 p.m. ET: The defense has finished its round of questions and now prosecutor Guy is asking Root about the variables in this case

"Do you know what Trayvon Martin was doing at the moment he was shot?" asked Guy

"Yes," said Root.

"You do?" asked Guy.

"It appears clear through the evidence," said Root. "I personally was not there... I can only base my opinion on the totality of the evidence."

2:29 p.m. ET: "My personal response, if you shoved me... I would take a position of advantage and give you strong verbal commands and make sure it’s clear that you made a mistake," said Root.

2:28 p.m. ET: Root says if you're confronted with an aggressor, the first thing you should do is to "try to avoid it if you can." But he says there are several variables involved.

2:25 p.m. ET: Root says he enjoyed being a police officer, which he considers a noble profession. He says he would suggest the profession to a relative who is fit and could take on the stressors of the job.

2:21 p.m. ET: "Getting the first shot into the face, it can provide various outcomes. The primary thing is you let the person know you’re for real and it’s devastating, especially if you have a hard punch,” said Root. He also says the person who controls the ebb and flow of the fight can have a better chance at winning.

2:18 p.m. ET: Root describes what happens when someone gets hit in the nose: The eyes tear up, it could result in bleeding that fills the nose and it could stun the person.

2:14 p.m. ET: Root says he didn't take this case because it's high profile. He also says the attention you get from the case is positive and negative.

2:05 p.m. ET: "Was there anything in Mr. Zimmerman's use of his firearm that you would consider to be reckless?" asked O'Mara.

"No," said Root.

O'Mara asks him to explain, the prosecution objects and the attorneys are now at a sidebar.

2:03 p.m. ET: In reference to Zimmerman saying on the non-emergency call that "those [expletive] always get away," Root says, "It was more of a frustration about the totality of everyone he’s called in on… not specifically one particular person."

1:59 p.m. ET: The jury is being seated.

1:56 p.m. ET: The defense still needs to finish with its current witness, Root, then they have two more potential witnesses after that. It is likely that the judge will then ask Zimmerman again if he wants to testify. The attorneys are still at a sidebar.

1:51 p.m. ET: "Mr. Zimmerman, have you made a decision as to whether or not you want to testify in this case?" asked the judge.

"No, not at this time your honor," said Zimmerman. The judge tells him she will give him more time to talk to his attorneys about testifying. The attorneys are at a sidebar.

1:47 p.m. ET: The judge is back on the bench and defense attorney O'Mara is putting some exhibits into evidence, including a document showing Zimmerman's concealed weapons permit and the event report documenting another of Zimmerman's calls to the non-emergency line made in the months before the shooting.

12:08 p.m. ET: Judge Nelson has recessed court for lunch. The live blog will pick back up when testimony resumes at 1:45 p.m. ET.

12:06 p.m. ET: O'Mara just made the point that even if Martin was straddle over Zimmerman's belly button he could have still accessed his gun around his hip area.

12:03 p.m. ET: O'Mara has straddled a dummy and is slamming the dummy's head into the floor. Root said the injuries to the back of Zimmerman's head are consistent with O'Mara's actions.

12:00 p.m. ET: Guy has finished his questions for Root, and now O'Mara is questioning him.

11:59 a.m. ET: Guy is asking if Root read Zimmerman written statement to police and saw that he called Martin a :suspect." Root said he doesn't recall reading that, but he would take Guy's word that Zimmerman called Martin a "suspect" in his written statement.

11:56 a.m. ET: Root is explaining how if someone is carrying a concealed weapon with a permit you are required to notify police officers about the weapon when interacting with them.

11:53 a.m. ET: The attorneys are at a sidebar with the judge.

11:52 a.m. ET: "There's a lot of things that if I was in that same situation I would have most certainly done differently," said Root explaining how he would have handled the altercation with Zimmerman.

11:49 a.m. ET: Root said he Zimmerman had limited ability to fight back against Martin's attack, but he does think Zimmerman probably tried to defend himself.

11:45 a.m. ET: Martin's parents have been in attendance for most of today's testimony. They appear to be paying close attention to Root's testimony.

11:42 a.m. ET: Root said if someone was disengaging or backing away from a fight it would be a de-escalation of force.

11:38 a.m. ET: Root said when he surveyed Zimmerman's neighborhood the sun had not set. So he never saw the scene at night.

11:35 a.m. ET: Guy is asking Root how he can reconcile the fact the medical examiner said Martin was shot at 90 degree angle while he straddled Zimmerman around his belly button.

11:32 a.m. ET: Root said in a "dynamic event" both people would be moving so the gun may have been accessible as Martin moved around.

11:30 a.m. ET: Guy is straddling a dummy as he points out how Zimmerman may have had trouble grabbing a gun at his waist if Martin was straddling at or above Zimmerman's belly button.

11:27 a.m. ET: Guy is going to refresh Root's recollection with his deposition regarding his statement about how Martin was straddle around Zimmerman's belly button.

11:24 a.m. ET: Root said he did not ask Zimmerman if he tried to strike Martin, and he does not recall what Zimmerman said he was doing with his hands during the fight.

11:21 a.m. ET: Guy is asking Root if Zimmerman explained to him how he lost his flashlight in the altercation. Root said no he did not ask Zimmerman about how what happened to his flashlight during the altercation.

11:18 a.m. ET: Root said he did not ask Zimmerman about how the fight moved from one point to another.

11:15 a.m. ET: Guy is asking Root if he took into consideration Martin's phone records and Rachel Jeantel's testimony or statements into his creation of his timeline of the shooting. Root said he did not consider the two minute gap, between the end of Zimmerman's non-emergency call to the end of Jeantel's call with Martin.

11:11 a.m. ET: Guy asked Root if he asked Zimmerman if he was concerned for his safety when he got out of the car the night of the shooting. Root said no he did not ask Zimmerman that question.

11:08 a.m. ET: "I have never had to discharge my firearm in the line of duty," said Root.

11:06 a.m. ET: Guy asked Root what his normal fee schedule for his expert testimony. He said to testify his normal rate is $175 an hour, but he has an agreement with the defense that indicates he may not be paid for his services in this case.

11:03 a.m. ET: Root is explaining that anyone who is reckless with a gun is dangerous.

11:01 a.m. ET: O'Mara has finished his questions for Root, and now prosecutor John Guy is asking him questions.

10:59 a.m. ET: Root is discussing different types of bullets, and what they do when they enter the body.

10:57 a.m. ET: Root said that it is smart to get a round in the chamber if someone is carrying it for self defense, because it will be ready to use.

10:54 a.m. ET: Root is talking about the amount of pressure it takes to pull the trigger of Zimmerman's gun, and how it is a safe amount of trigger pressure.

10:51 a.m. ET: Root is talking about qualities of the firearm Zimmerman used to shoot Martin.

10:49 a.m. ET: O'Mara is talking to fellow defense attorney Don West.

10:47 a.m. ET: "When you teach classes on force." said Root. "Unfortunately, you have to teach them about how to use deadly force."

10:45 a.m. ET: Root said people involved with high stress events like shootings can have trouble remembering things.

10:43 a.m. ET: Root said in all the evidence he reviewed in the case there was nothing he saw that indicated ill will or hatred from Zimmerman.

10:41 a.m. ET: The attorneys are at a sidebar with the judge.

10:40 a.m. ET: In this particular case, just going off the timeline of of the 911 call given the period of time. I have personally sat there and timed it myself where it is about 40 seconds of time. That's a very long time to be involved in any type of physical altercation," said Root.

10:37 a.m. ET: "We have a golden rule. If you have not successfully completed the fight, if you have not won the fight in 30 seconds change tactics, because the tactics you are using are not working," said Root.

10:34 a.m. ET: A paramedic who was at the scene wrote in his report that Martin appeared to be in his twenties according to Root.

10:32 a.m. ET: Root is explaining that Zimmerman took some boxing training, but he had not to the skill level where he was ready to get in the ring with an opponent.

10:29 a.m. ET: Root inquired into Martin's background and training with hand-to-hand combat.

10:26 a.m. ET: "Based on the injuries depicted in the photographs they were consistent with a fight, a physical fist fight," said Root.

10:23 a.m. ET: Prosecutor John Guy objected to one O'Mara questions as bolstering Zimmerman's statement he gave to police. O'Mara said he would reword his question.

10:22 a.m. ET: Root is discussing the environmental conditions the night of the shooting. It was dark, rainy and it was in an isolated area behind buildings.

10:19 a.m. ET: The prosecution has objected to Root comment on other witness testimony. O'Mara said he would reword his question.

10:16 a.m. ET: "High stress events change the way we see things," said Root.

10:13 a.m. ET: The attorneys are at a sidebar for the judge.

10:11 a.m. ET: Root said stress can hurt an eyewitness's ability to report what they saw accurately.

10:08 a.m. ET: "I used all that information to begin forming my opinions and to focus in my energy to evaluating what I thought may have taken place," said Root.

10:04 a.m. ET: "This first I looked and listend to was the 911 call that came. Then I added that the intial interviews of the key witnesses." said Root. "The people with the most information that saw or heard the most."

10:00 a.m. ET: Root said he received all the evidence in the Zimmerman case that he asked for to make his analysis.

9:58 a.m. ET: Root reviewed witness statements, physical evidence and photographs in Zimmerman's case.

9:54 a.m. ET: O'Mara has moved on to talk about the work Root has done on Zimmerman's case. Root said he saw the story unfold in the news so he reached out to O'Mara, because he could help.

9:50 a.m. ET: O'Mara is asking Root about what kind of testimony he has provided to grand juries in the past.

9:48 a.m. ET: Root has training in martial arts and boxing. He is also working on developing a style of martial arts that incorporates firearms.

9:45 a.m. ET: Root has also received training in combat with knives.

9:44 a.m. ET: When Root was working for law enforcement he would review "force events" for teachable moments for other officers.

9:39 a.m. ET: Root is talking about NRA firearm training he has completed.

9:35 a.m. ET: At one point, Root worked with juvenile offenders as a drill sergeant at a boot camp.

9:32 a.m. ET: O'Mara is walking Root through his career in chronological order.

9:30 a.m. ET: Root is a certified instructor in in different hand to hand combat techniques.

9:27 a.m. ET: Root said police officers have to maintain training for firearms and weapons, and that training doesn't end until an officer retires.

9:24 a.m. ET: O'Mara is asking Root about training he has received with different weapons.

9:23 a.m. ET: Root is a specialist on the use of force. He is talking about his career in law enforcement.

9:20 a.m. ET: Defense attorney Mark O'Mara has called Dennis Root to the stand.

9:18 a.m. ET: The jury is being seated.

9:17 a.m. ET: The judge will not admit computer animation as evidence. However, in an argument yesterday the prosecutor had no objection to it being used as a demonstrative aid--so this will pave the way for the defense to use it in their closing.

9:16 a.m. ET: Nelson has barred the jury from hearing about text messages from Martin's phone that seemed to indicate he engaged in fights..

9:14 a.m. ET: Nelson is informing Zimmerman that he has the right to testify. She said wants him to take her notice under consideration and she will ask him later if he plans to take the stand or not.

9:12 a.m. ET: Nelson said she was reading case law provided by the attorneys.

9:11 a.m. ET: Nelson is reading a document right now.

9:06 a.m. ET: It seems the attorneys are reviewing some materials before court gets underway.

8:59 a.m. ET: Judge Nelson is on the bench, and the attorneys have joined her for a sidebar.

8:57 a.m. ET: Zimmerman is in the courtroom, and court should begin shortly.

Defense attorneys are expected to wrap their case in the George Zimmerman trial Wednesday, though unresolved issues that could decide their client's fate hang over the case.

Court went late Tuesday as attorneys fought over the admissibility of the defense’s 3D recreation of the altercation between Zimmerman and Trayvon Martin. The defense also wants jurors to hear about Martin's text messages, which reportedly show he had been in fights and was trying to purchase a gun.

Judge Debra Nelson recessed court right before 10 p.m. ET Tuesday, saying she would wait until Wednesday morning to make decisions on both of these issues. Defense attorney Don West vented his frustration as the judge left the bench, saying he was having trouble keeping up with the long hours and fast-paced schedule of the trial. The attorneys have been asked to return to the courtroom at 9 a.m. ET Wednesday to continue making legal arguments on outstanding issues, outside of the jury’s presence, before testimony begins.

Zimmerman, a former neighborhood watch captain, is charged with second-degree murder for killing 17-year-old Martin in Sanford, Florida, on Feb. 26, 2012. Martin was walking through Zimmerman’s neighborhood that night when Zimmerman saw him and told police that he looked suspicious. The two got into a physical fight, and Zimmerman said he was forced to draw his gun and shoot Martin in self-defense. 

Zimmerman still has the opportunity to take the stand in his defense before his attorneys finish their case Wednesday. Ultimately, the decision on whether to testify  falls solely on the defendant, but the question of whether he will take the stand has created a lot of debate among legal experts. HLN's Nancy Grace said if she were representing Zimmerman, she would advise him not to take the stand, because conventional wisdom says a defendant shouldn't take the stand and expose himself to intense cross-examination.

"Look at what happened to Jodi Arias and her 18 days on the stand. It turned the jury against her," Grace said. "Casey Anthony didn't take the stand, and we saw what happened there -- an acquittal."

There’s also the issue of Martin's pot use. Martin's toxicology report indicates that THC, the active drug in marijuana, was in his blood at the time of his death.

On Monday, Nelson ruled that jurors will be allowed to hear about marijuana found in Martin’s system the night he was shot. However, the defense has yet to present Martin's toxicology report to the jury and present the evidence of how the drug could have affected Martin's behavior.

After the defense wraps its case, the prosecution will get a chance to present a rebuttal case before closing arguments begin.

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Zimmerman jurors: B-37 doesnât speak for us
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