Jurors in the George Zimmerman murder trial on Monday heard a recording of the neighborhood watch volunteer describing his fatal encounter with 17-year-old Trayvon Martin to a police officer soon after it happened.
Zimmerman said in that first police interview that he saw Martin walking through his neighborhood on a dark, rainy night while Zimmerman was driving to the grocery store. He told Officer Doris Singleton that he didn't recognize Martin and that there had been recent break-ins at his townhome complex.
"These guys always get away," Zimmerman told Singleton, a statement similar to one that prosecutors have used previously to try to show that Zimmerman was increasingly frustrated with the burglaries and his encounter with Martin was a breaking point.
Zimmerman told the police officer that he lost track of Martin and got out of his truck to look for a street name he could relay to police dispatcher. When the dispatcher suggested Zimmerman didn't need to follow Martin, Zimmerman started to head back to his vehicle. At that point, Zimmerman said Martin jumped out of some bushes, punched him and he fell to the ground.
Zimmerman said that Martin began hitting his head against the sidewalk as Zimmerman yelled for help and that Martin told him, "You're going to die tonight."
With Zimmerman's shirt and jacket pushed up during the struggle and his holstered gun now visibile, he thought Martin was reaching for his firearm holstered around his waist. Zimmerman told the officer that he shot Martin and the teen said, "You got me."
Prosecutors played the police interview Monday after calling an FBI audio expert to the witness stand. Prosecutors called FBI expert Hirotaka Nakasone to focus on the issue of who was screaming for help on 911 calls during the confrontation. Jurors were played the 911 calls several times last week.
The recordings are crucial pieces of evidence because they could determine who the aggressor was in the confrontation. Martin's family contends it was the teen screaming, while Zimmerman's father has said it was his son.