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George Zimmerman trial: Defense will likely rest case Wednesday

George Zimmerman, left, arrives in Seminole circuit court, with his wife Shellie, on the 11th day of his trial, in Sanford, Fla., Monday, June 24, 2013. Zimmerman is accused in the fatal shooting of Trayvon Martin. Zimmerman has been charged with second-degree murder for the 2012 shooting death of Trayvon Martin. (AP Photo/Orlando Sentinel, Joe Burbank, Pool) Joe Burbank

George Zimmerman listens to testimony in the courtroom for the 21st day of his trial in Seminole circuit court, July 9, 2013 in Sanford, Florida.
Photo by Joe Burbank-Pool/Getty Images

(CBS/AP) SANFORD, Fla. -- The defense will likely wrap up their case in the trial of accused murderer George Zimmerman Wednesday, defense attorney Mark O'Mara said in court Tuesday afternoon.

PICTURES: George Zimmerman on trial in death of Fla. teen

PICTURES: George Zimmerman crime scene photos

READ: Trayvon Martin Shooting: A timeline of events

 After the defense rests, the state will have the opportunity to call rebuttal witnesses, reports the Orlando Sentinel.

The defense launched testimony Friday, after the prosecution rested its case. Defense attorneys have called to the stand numerous witnesses including Zimmerman's mother and uncle to testify that the voice screaming for help in the background of a 911 call is Zimmerman's. 

The call, placed by a neighbor the night Zimmerman fatally shot Trayvon Martin in a gated Sanford, Fla. community, has been a key point of contention because it could provide clues at to who was the aggressor in the fatal confrontation.

Zimmerman claims he shot the teen in self-defense.

A renowned forensic pathologist testified for the defense Tuesday, saying that Martin's injuries were consistent with Zimmerman's story that Martin was leaning over Zimmerman when he was shot.

VIDEO: Zimmerman trial: Prosecutor opens with profanity

On cross-examination, Dr. Vincent Di Maio conceded that the gunshot could also be consistent with Martin pulling away from Zimmerman, and that he didn't rely on statements from some Zimmerman neighbors who say Zimmerman was on top of Martin to reach his conclusion. The pathologist, who also has testified at the murder trials of Illinois police sergeant Drew Peterson and record producer Phil Spector, said he had been paid $2,400 by the defense.

Di Maio told prosecutor Bernie de la Rionda that he couldn't speak to who started the fatal altercation.

Also called to the stand Tuesday was Sanford City Manager Norton Bonaparte, who described how Martin's family came to hear the 911 tapes. Bonaparte said he played the 911 tapes while members of Martin's family sat together at City Hall. He played them as a courtesy before they were released publicly, he said.

Defense attorneys are trying to show that Martin's family members may have influenced each other in concluding the screams are those of the Miami teen. Police officers testified for the defense that it's better for someone who is trying to identify a voice to listen to it alone.

Zimmerman, so far, hasn't testified. But jurors saw repeated video recordings of Zimmerman telling his side of the story to police investigators. If the defense keeps to the schedule anticipated by O'Mara, its presentation will take about half of the time of the prosecution.

Also testifying via video Tuesday was Eloise Dilligard, a neighbor of George Zimmerman who was asked by police to identify photos of Zimmerman and Martin the night of the shooting. Dilligard said she believes the voice screaming on the call was Zimmerman.

The jury was excused Tuesday afternoon as a judge considered whether to allow the defense to introduce an animation of the events leading up to the shooting.

  • Crimesider Staff

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