SANFORD, Fla. Lawyers for George Zimmerman will spend this week trying to convince a jury of his innocence.
Their efforts are the second part of a trial in which for two weeks, state attorneys cast Zimmerman as an aggressor who profiled and murdered Trayvon Martin. The jury will weigh the prosecutors' version of events against the defense's story of a man who, while trying to be a good neighbor, was attacked by a teen and shot him in self-defense.
"There's enormous evidence that my client acted in self-defense,'' Mark O'Mara, Zimmerman's attorney, said last week. "There is no other reasonable hypothesis."
Zimmerman, 29, is on trial on a charge of second-degree murder in the Feb. 26, 2012, shooting death of Trayvon, 17. Zimmerman, who has pleaded not guilty, has said he acted in self-defense after he was punched and then pummeled.
The African-American teen's death and the speculation that Zimmerman, who is Hispanic, profiled, followed and murdered him sparked racial controversy and protests around the country last year. Zimmerman, who faces life in prison if convicted, has maintained that race did not factor into his actions.
O'Mara expects his case to last a few days and says he may re-call some of the state's 38 witnesses to testify further. So far, the defense has called two witnesses, both relatives of Zimmerman's.
The defense began Friday with Zimmerman's mother, Gladys Zimmerman, briefly testifying that it was her son screaming for help in a 911 call that recorded the fatal shot. "That's George's voice,'' she said.
She said Zimmerman was terrified before shooting Trayvon. "The way he is screaming describes anguish, fear," she said.
George Zimmerman's uncle, Jorge Meza, also testified that the voice screaming belonged to George Zimmerman.
Meza knew his nephew had been involved in a shooting, he testified, but he said he knew nothing about a 911 call until he heard it on TV at home and immediately recognized Zimmerman's voice.
"It was George Zimmerman screaming for his life," Meza said. "I felt it inside of my heart that it is George."
Earlier, Trayvon's mother, Sybrina Fulton, and his brother, Jahvaris Fulton, testified that the voice heard screaming belonged to Trayvon.
O'Mara said Friday that he didn't know whether his client would take the stand.
"I said I would have to convince myself first that the state has proven its case beyond a reasonable doubt before I decide exactly how to handle that," O'Mara said. "I'm still considering that. We are going to start presenting our witnesses and we'll see if that includes George."
This week, O'Mara may call to the stand Robert Zimmerman, George Zimmerman's older brother, who has been an outspoken supporter and spokesman for his family.
Potential witnesses also include John Good, who lived near the shooting scene and testified earlier that Trayvon was striking Zimmerman while straddling him moments before the teen was shot.
Like the prosecutors, Zimmerman's lawyers may call Sanford police officials and Florida Department of Law enforcement authorities to testify.
Defense attorneys are likely to focus on the minutes leading up to the shooting, spending particular time talking about the seconds before police arrived. They'll also emphasize Zimmerman's injuries and the idea that he feared for his life when he shot Trayvon.
Yamiche Alcindor, USA TODAY