Jury selection began yesterday in the murder trial of George Zimmerman, as lawyers examine candidates' familiarity with the case and their thoughts on the racial issues it has highlighted. Martin's parents Sybrina Fulton and Tracy Martin sat quietly in the courtroom, as just four potential jurors made it through questioning. Jury selection may prove to be the longest part of the trial.
Lawyers from the prosecution and defense will begin a second round of jury interviews with candidates selected from the initial round.
The pool of about 100 potential jurors got their first glimpse at Zimmerman, who is said to have gained well over 100 pounds since killing the unarmed teen some 13 months ago. Defense attorney Mark O'Mara says his client's drastic weight gain is due to the isolation of "trying to deal with the moniker that's been put on him that he's the most hated man in America for taking the life of somebody when he really feels that he needed to."
The New York Times reports that Zimmerman's brother says the defendant looked forward to meeting jurors and though he had been portrayed in the media as a “mythological monster,” he is actually “sensitive” and “very likable.”
Also present in the courtroom is Shellie Zimmerman, who faces perjury charges for lying about the amount of money she and her husband had available for bail.
One of the biggest decisions to be made in the pre-trial process is whether or not audio experts will testify whose voice is heard screaming for help in the background of a 911 call—Martin's or Zimmerman's. Experts for the prosecution and The Orlando Sentinel have stated that the voice likely belonged to Martin, while the defense claims the screamer cannot be determined.