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Mothers of Martin, Zimmerman clash in testimony

SANFORD, Fla.-- Trayvon Martin's mother and George Zimmerman's mother clashed on the witness stand Friday over whether the screams for help that can be heard in the background on a 911 call came from the teenager or the neighborhood watch volunteer who shot him.

"I heard my son screaming," Sybrina Fulton, Martin's mother, answered firmly after listening to a recording in which high-pitched wails could be heard. Moments later on the call, there was a gunshot and the crying stopped.

Later, Gladys Zimmerman listened to the same recording and answered, "My son" when asked whose voice it was. Asked how she could be sure, she said: "Because it's my son."

The conflicting testimony came on a dramatic day in which the prosecution rested its case and the judge rejected a defense request to acquit Zimmerman on the second-degree murder charge.

The question of whose voice is on the recording could be crucial to the jury in deciding who was the aggressor in the confrontation that ended with Zimmerman killing the unarmed 17-year-old.

Martin's half-brother, 22-year-old Jahvaris Fulton, also testified that the cries came from the 17-year-old.

Zimmerman's uncle, Jose Meza, said he knew it was Zimmerman's voice from "the moment I heard it. . . . I thought, that is George."

In asking that the judge acquit Zimmerman, defense attorney Mark O'Mara argued that the prosecution had failed to prove its case.

He said an "enormous" amount of evidence showed that Zimmerman acted in self-defense, and he argued that Zimmerman had reasonable grounds to believe he was in danger, and acted without the "ill will, hatred and spite" necessary to prove second-degree murder.

But prosecutor Richard Mantei countered: "There are two people involved here. One of them is dead, and one of them is a liar." Mantei told the judge that Zimmerman had changed his story, that his account of how he shot Martin was "a physical impossibility" and that he exaggerated his injuries.

The doctor who performed an autopsy on Martin also took the stand. Associate medical examiner Shiping Bao started describing Martin as being in pain and suffering after he was shot, but defense attorneys objected and the judge directed Bao away from that line of questioning.

He later estimated that Martin lived one to 10 minutes after a bullet pierced his heart.

"There was no chance he could survive," Bao said.

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