George Zimmerman Trial: First witnesses testify in case of Trayvon Martin killing

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
Zimmerman trial photos
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) The jury in the trial of George Zimmerman, accused of killing unarmed Florida teen Trayvon Martin, heard from the first few witnesses in the case before recessing for the day Monday.

PICTURES: George Zimmerman in court

READ: Trayvon Martin Shooting: A timeline of events

They included the son of the girlfriend of Martin's father, with whom Martin was playing video games before he left to go to the 7-Eleven; a 7-Eleven employee who encountered Martin just before the fatal altercation; and the dispatcher to whom Zimmerman placed a crucial non-emergency call minutes before he shot Martin.

Zimmerman claims he shot Martin in self-defense after the teen attacked him.

Defense attorneys have said that Zimmerman briefly followed Martin after dispatcher Sean Noffke asked him about the direction in which Martin was running, but that he stopped when Noffke said, "We don't need you to do that." Defense attorney Mark O'Mara questioned Noffke Monday about whether he intended for Zimmerman to follow Martin after Noffke asked about which direction Martin ran.

"Based upon your six years of doing this, if you ask someone which way someone else is running, they may actually go find out?,"O'Mara asked.

"My intent was to get a location for the officer," Noffke said. "I can understand if someone interpreted it in a different way. I can't control how they interpret the words."

Before the court recessed, Zimmerman's defense team objected to the court hearing past calls the neighborhood watch volunteer placed to dispatchers about suspicious people in his neighborhood.

The calls were placed before Zimmerman's Feb. 26, 2012 non-emergency call, which was played several times in court Monday, in which he reported Trayvon Martin as a suspicious person and used the terms "[expletive] punks" and "these [expletives,] they always get away."

In the call, Zimmerman also says, "we've had some break-ins in my neighborhood."

VIDEO:Zimmerman trial: Prosecutor opens with profanity

Monday afternoon, prosecutors played another call placed by Zimmerman to dispatchers before the Feb. 26 call, in which he described a person in his neighborhood who fit the description of someone who had been burglarizing homes in the area.

Defense attorneys objected to the jury hearing the call, saying it wasn't relevant. But prosecutors argued that the previous calls spoke to Zimmerman's state of mind the evening of the deadly altercation and provided context for Zimmerman's statement about previous break-ins.

VIDEO: George Zimmerman trial: Self-defense, murder at case's core

In opening statements Monday morning, defense attorneys portrayed Zimmerman as a citizen looking out for his neighborhood when he was "viciously attacked" by Trayvon Martin, a stark contrast to prosecutors' picture of a vigilante who confronted and murdered the teen.

The court recessed for the day shortly before 5 p.m. and was set to take up the challenge to Zimmerman's previous calls to dispatchers before jury is scheduled to return at 9 a.m.

The court also heard Monday from Ramona Rumph of the communications division of the Seminole County Sheriff's Office. Rumph was expected to continue her testimony Tuesday.

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

  • Erin Donaghue

    Erin Donaghue covers crime for's Crimesider.