Mothers center-stage in Trayvon Martin murder trial
The anguished screams on a 911 call echoed through a Florida courtroom Friday as prosecutors wrapped up their case at the Trayvon Martin trial.
The mother of slain 17-year-old Martin testified to prosecutors that the cries on the recording belonged to her son, who was shot dead by neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman in February last year.
But just hours after Sybrina Fulton's gripping testimony in the racially-charged case, Zimmerman's defense countered by calling the 29-year-old's mother Gladys to the stand.
Gladys Zimmerman insisted the screams picked up in the recording were those of her son, who says he shot Martin in self-defense after being attacked by the black teen.
Asked whose voice she thought she could hear, she replied: "My son George."
Asked if she was certain, she added: "Because he's my son."
The identity of the person screaming on the 911 call has become a pivotal piece of evidence in the trial, which has garnered widespread coverage in the United States.
Prosecutors say the screams belong to Martin, supporting their case that Zimmerman, who is Hispanic, was the aggressor in the incident.
Defense attorneys have argued however that it is the accused on the tape, backing their client's claim that he acted in self-defense.
Martin's mother however told jurors earlier Friday she was in no doubt that it was her son after being played the tape.
Asked who she thought it was, she replied: "Trayvon Benjamin Martin."
The slain youth's older brother, Jahvaris Fulton, 22, also said he was certain that the person shouting was Trayvon.
Defense attorney Mark O' Mara however replayed a statement tape during a deposition in which Fulton said he was not entirely sure who was yelling.
"I guess I didn't want to believe that it was him, that's why during that interview I said I wasn't sure," Fulton said, when asked about his earlier statement.
"Listening to it was clouded by shock and denial and sadness."
Meanwhile Judge Debra Nelson denied a defense motion for an acquittal following the conclusion of the prosecution case.
O'Mara argued that the case should be dismissed on the grounds that evidence was "at least 98 percent circumstantial."
Prosecutor Rich Mantei fired back immediately however, noting that only two people were involved in the case. "One is dead; the other is a liar," he said.
Martin had been visiting a family friend in the neighborhood and was coming back from a convenience store just before his altercation with Zimmerman.
Zimmerman has denied any racial motive in the killing, saying he shot Martin only because he feared his life was in danger.
Zimmerman said he phoned police when he saw Martin walking in a hooded sweatshirt in a gated community in Sanford, Florida which had seen a string of recent robberies.
He told police that he found Martin's behavior suspicious, and followed the youth even though he had been instructed not to do so by authorities.
The trial has centered in part on Florida's controversial "Stand Your Ground" law, which permits a shooter to use deadly force if he believes his life is at risk.
Zimmerman has said in the past that he knew nothing about the law when he shot Martin, but one witness, Alexis Carter, testified that he taught Zimmerman about the law at Seminole State College.
Zimmerman was studying criminal justice courses in hopes of become a police officer one day. Legal experts said the testimony undermines his credibility.
"The prosecution can say to jurors you can't believe him (Zimmerman)," legal analyst Jack Ford told CBS television.