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George Zimmerman Trial: Jury can hear Zimmerman's previous non-emergency calls to dispatchers, judge rules

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, left, arrives in Seminole circuit court, with his wife Shellie, on the 11th day of his trial, in Sanford, Fla., Monday, June 24, 2013.
Joe Burbank

(CBS/AP) SANFORD, Fla. - A central Florida judge has ruled that police non-emergency dispatch calls George Zimmerman made in the months before he fatally shot Trayvon Martin can be admitted at his murder trial.

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

READ: Trayvon Martin Shooting: A timeline of events

Judge Debra Nelson made the ruling Wednesday, a day after a prosecutor argued that the calls were central to the prosecution's case since they showed Zimmerman's state of mind. Prosecutor Richard Mantei said the calls would give jurors context on a "building level of frustration this defendant had" that the suspicious people he reported in his neighborhood were getting away, the Orlando Sentinel reports.

VIDEO: Zimmerman trial: Prosecutor opens with profanity

Attorneys and Circuit Judge Debra Nelson listened to the calls in court Tuesday morning before the jury was called into the courtroom. "We've had a lot of break-ins in our neighborhood recently, I'm on the neighborhood watch," Zimmerman said in one of the calls. "There are two suspicious characters at the gate of my neighborhood. I've never seen them before - I have no idea what they're doing. They're just hanging out, loitering."

Defense attorneys had objected to their use at the trial, claiming they were irrelevant.

Zimmerman is pleading not guilty to second-degree murder, claiming self-defense.

A former neighbor started off the third day of testimony in the trial Wednesday.

Complete coverage of the George Zimmerman-Trayvon Martin case on Crimesider

  • Crimesider Staff

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