(SANFORD, Fla.) — A witness in the second-degree murder trial of George Zimmerman took the stand on Wednesday to say she could hear a “boy’s voice” yelling for help the night the former neighborhood watch captain killed Trayvon Martin in Sanford, Fla.
It was the first time in the trial this week that a witness has testified about who she thought was screaming for help in the fatal altercation last year.
“I truly believe the second yell for help was a yelp,” resident Jane Surdyka testified on Wednesday. “It was excruciating. I really felt it was a boy’s voice.”
Surdyka was in her home the night Martin, 17, was shot and killed and said she could hear a “loud, dominant” voice 20 to 30 feet from where she was. She says she opened her window and could “see two people on top of the ground and one on top of the other.”
Prosecutor Bernie de la Rionda then played Surdyka’s emotional 911 call as Surdyka and Sybrina Fulton, Martin’s mother, dabbed tears from their eyes.
During cross-examination, Surdyka described the altercation and cries for help as a life-or-death struggle.
“It was as, if nothing else, a plea for mercy?” defense attorney Don West asked.
“A plea for someone to save them,” Surdyka replied.
Zimmerman contends that he was screaming that night and shot and killed the unarmed teenager after Martin repeatedly banged his head on a concrete sidewalk. Prosecutors say any screams came from Martin.
The testimony followed a key ruling by Circuit Judge Debra Nelson that several non-emergency calls the former neighborhood watch captain made to police well before his deadly encounter with Martin will be heard by jurors.
Zimmerman is heard asking during the calls for police to come to his subdivision and check on suspicious strangers, often black. The prosecution argued that the calls should be submitted into evidence because they show his mind-set in the days and months leading up to the shooting.
“The defendant made the calls, he created these tapes, he created these situations. He shouldn’t complain,” prosecutor Richard Mantei said in court.
Zimmerman’s lead defense attorney said the calls were irrelevant and would confuse jurors, but Nelson overruled his objection on Wednesday.
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