News / USA

    Trayvon Martin's Mother Says Son Cried for Help

    Trayvon Martin's mother, Sybrina Fulton, takes the stand during George Zimmerman's trial in Seminole County circuit court, Sanford, Florida, July 5, 2013.
    Trayvon Martin's mother, Sybrina Fulton, takes the stand during George Zimmerman's trial in Seminole County circuit court, Sanford, Florida, July 5, 2013.
    Reuters
    The mother of Trayvon Martin said in court on Friday she recognized the voice of her son screaming for help in an emergency call on the night the black teenager was shot dead by neighborhood watchman George Zimmermann.
     
    Sybrina Fulton's testimony came as the state was preparing to wrap up its case after nearly two weeks of testimony aimed at showing inconsistencies in Zimmerman's account of the fight in Sanford, Florida, in February last year that ended with Martin's death.
     
    Fulton told jurors she was certain it was her son who can be heard screaming for help in the background of an emergency call made to police moments before he died.
     
    "I heard my son screaming," said Fulton, who added that she first heard the recording in the office of the mayor of this town near Orlando where her son died.
     
    Testimony from voice-recognition experts has been ruled inadmissible in the trial on the grounds that it was impossible to tell from the brief, poor-quality recording whether it was Martin or Zimmerman calling for help.
     
    In addition to Martin's mother, the state's final witnesses included his brother, 22-year-old Jahvaris Fulton, who said he too was convinced it was his brother who can be heard screaming on the recording.
     
    Other witnesses for the prosecution are expected to include the central Florida medical examiner who performed the autopsy on the teenager. Martin's father may also testify.
     
    It will then be the turn of the defense to present its case.
     
    Legal experts said that before doing so, Zimmerman's legal team could simply make an argument for acquittal on grounds that the state has failed to meet its burden of proof.
     
    It is still unclear whether the defense will choose to put Zimmerman, who is 29 and part Hispanic, on the stand to testify.
     
    The former neighborhood watch volunteer contends that he killed Martin in self-defense. He faces up to life in prison if convicted of second-degree murder.
     
    After the defense concludes its case, the prosecution is entitled to present a rebuttal.
     
    In testimony on Wednesday, before a one-day break for the U.S. Independence Day holiday, jurors heard that Zimmerman was well versed in Florida's self-defense laws before he shot Martin, despite his previous claim to the contrary.
     
    On Tuesday, Judge Debra Nelson let the jury hear a television interview in which Zimmerman said he had no knowledge of Florida's ``Stand Your Ground'' law, which underpins his trial defense.
     
    But an army prosecutor who taught Zimmerman in a 2010 college class on criminal litigation, testified that he often covered Florida's self-defense and ``Stand Your Ground'' laws in his 2010 course. Army Captain Alexis Carter said Zimmerman ``was probably one of the better students in the class,'' calling him an ``A'' student.
     
    Under Florida's ``Stand Your Ground'' law, which was approved in 2005 and has been copied in some form by about 30 other U.S. states, people fearing for their lives can use deadly force even if is possible for them to retreat from a confrontation.
     
    The statute is central to Zimmerman's defense in a case that has captivated the United States because police initially declined to arrest Zimmerman based on his self-defense argument and the right to use deadly force under Florida law.

    You May Like

    Vietnam Mulls Tough Measures for ‘Misbehaving’ Chinese Tourists

    Move comes after footage surfaced online of Chinese travelers harassing a banana hawker in Da Nang

    Pakistan Social Media Star's Honor Killing Fuels Debate

    Qandeel Baloch's murder puts spotlight on deadly tradition and other mistreatment of women

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Wall Already Runs Along Parts of US-Mexico Borderi
    X
    July 22, 2016 12:30 AM
    The Republican Party’s presidential nominee, Donald Trump, gained the support of many voters by saying he would build a wall to keep undocumented immigrants and drugs from coming across the border from Mexico. Critics have called his idea impractical and offensive to Mexico, while supporters say such a bold approach is needed to control the border. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from the border town of Nogales, Arizona.
    Video

    Video Wall Already Runs Along Parts of US-Mexico Border

    The Republican Party’s presidential nominee, Donald Trump, gained the support of many voters by saying he would build a wall to keep undocumented immigrants and drugs from coming across the border from Mexico. Critics have called his idea impractical and offensive to Mexico, while supporters say such a bold approach is needed to control the border. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from the border town of Nogales, Arizona.
    Video

    Video New HIV Tests Emphasize Rapid Results

    As the global fight against AIDS intensifies, activists have placed increasing importance on getting people to know their HIV status. Some companies are developing new HIV testing methods designed to be quick, easy and accurate. Thuso Khumalo looks at the latest methods, presented at the International AIDS conference in Durban, South Africa.
    Video

    Video African Youth with HIV Urge More Support

    HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, is the top killer of teens in sub-Saharan Africa. But many youths say their experience with the virus is unique and needs to be addressed differently than the adult epidemic. VOA South African Correspondent Anita Powell reports.
    Video

    Video Poor Residents in Cleveland Not Feeling High Hopes of Republican Convention

    With the Republican Party's National Convention underway in Cleveland, Ohio, delegates and visitors are gathered in the host city's downtown - waiting to hear from the party's presidential candidate, Donald Trump. But a few kilometers from the convention's venue, Cleveland's poorest residents are not convinced Trump or his policies will make a difference in their lives. VOA's Ramon Taylor spoke with some of these residents as well as some of the Republican delegates and filed this report.
    Video

    Video Pop-Up Art Comes to Your Living Room, Backyard and Elsewhere

    Around the world, independent artists and musicians wrestle with a common problem: where to exhibit or perform? Traditional spaces such as museums and galleries are reserved for bigger names, and renting a space is not feasible for many. Enter ArtsUp, which connects artists with venue owners. Whether it’s a living room, restaurant, office or even a boat, pop-up events are bringing music and art to unexpected places. Tina Trinh has more.
    Video

    Video With Yosemite as Backdrop, Obama Praises National Parks

    Last month, President Barack Obama and his family visited some of the most beautiful national parks in the U.S. Using the majestic backdrop of a towering waterfall in California's Yosemite National Park, Obama praised the national park system which celebrates its 100th anniversary this year. He talked about the importance of America’s “national treasures” and the need to protect them from climate change and other threats. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
    Video

    Video Counter-Islamic State Coalition Plots Next Steps

    As momentum shifts against Islamic State in Iraq, discussions are taking place about the next steps for driving the terrorist group from its final strongholds. Secretary of State John Kerry is hosting a counter-IS meeting at the State Department, a day after defense ministers from more than 30 countries reviewed and agreed upon a course of action. VOA Pentagon correspondent Carla Babb reports.
    Video

    Video Russia's Participation at Brazil Olympic Games Still In Question

    The International Olympic Committee has delayed a decision on whether to ban all Russian teams from competing in next month's Olympic Games in Brazil over allegations of an elaborate doping scheme. The World Anti-Doping Agency recently released an independent report alleging widespread doping by Russian athletes at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi. So far, only Russian track and field athletes have been barred from the Summer Games in Brazil. VOA's Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Scotland’s Booming Whisky Industry Fears Brexit Hangover

    After Britain’s vote to leave the European Union, Scotland’s government wants to break away from the United Kingdom – fearing the nation’s exports are at risk. Among the biggest of these is whisky. Henry Ridgwell reports on a time of turmoil for those involved in the ancient art of distilling Scotland’s most famous product.
    Video

    Video Millennials Could Determine Who Wins Race to White House

    With only four months to go until Americans elect a new president, one group of voters is getting a lot more attention these days: those ages 18 to 35, a generation known as millennials. It’s a demographic that some analysts say could have the power to decide the 2016 election. But a lot depends on whether they actually turn out to vote. VOA’s Alexa Lamanna reports.
    Video

    Video Number of Syrian Refugees Arriving in US Jumps

    The United States is committed to resettling 85,000 refugees from around the world by October. Of that number, 10,000 will come from Syria and already some 4,000 Syrian refugees have arrived in the United States, many of them settling in the state of Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports from Chicago, their arrival is not the end of a difficult journey to find peace and stability.
    Video

    Video Rio’s Trams Await Olympic Tourists

    Over the past century, many cities around the world replaced electric trams, prone to breakdowns and backups, with faster and more spacious buses. But for some reason restored antique trams are a huge tourist attraction. So it’s no wonder the authorities in Rio de Janeiro are busy restoring their city’s old tram line ahead of the Summer Olympic Games. VOA’ George Putic reports.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora