Trayvon Martin Phone Video Released: Does it Authenticate His Voice?

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A new video from Trayvon Martin's phone has been released. It's from an unrelated incident, but could be critical if it can authenticate his voice.

Experts dispute whose voice is heard in the background of a 911 call from the night Trayvon Martin was shot and killed by George Zimmerman.

Police detective Chris Serino wrote in an early report that he could hear a man yelling “Help” or “Help Me” 14 times during the Trayvon Martin 911 call.

Prosecutors say the voice is Martin’s. Defense lawyers say it could actually be George Zimmerman, who they say was being pummeled by Martin.

Now, as Zimmerman prepares to go on trial for second-degree murder, a video has been released that the defense says could authenticate the 911 call.

Lawyers for Martin’s family say it doesn’t belong in court, however.

The video (above), which the defense says was extracted from Martin’s phone, shows two men fighting over a bicycle or an incident involving a bicycle.

Zimmerman’s lawyers say that Trayvon Martin himself took the video, and that a voice on the recording is his. The person recording is not seen.

The video was released by Zimmerman’s defense through a website where his lawyers have been posting press releases and possible evidence.

Members of Zimmerman’s defense team say that the tape is the only known sample of Martin’s voice; it's unclear if this will be allowed into evidence.

Asked if it could be used in a way damaging to Martin’s image, Shawn Vincent, a spokesman for the defense, said: “The answer is we hope it doesn’t.”

Analysts say Zimmerman’s lawyers would have to show that the video is relevant enough to the case to overcome its potential for prejudicing the jury.

Because the video does not show what happened the night Martin was killed, one legal expert said, “The question then becomes: What does it show?”

The video was already controversial. During a recent hearing, Zimmerman's lawyer claimed that it showed Martin’s friends beating up a homeless man.

The defense later issued an apology and clarified the nature of the recording. Vincent said that the video was released in part to further correct the record.

It has not been independently authenticated that the voice is Martin’s. Ben Crump, a lawyer for Martin's family, says that Martin’s own mother isn’t sure.

“The tape does not belong in the court,” he said, echoing previous statements he has made about Martin's texts and photos and their relevance.

Zimmerman has pleaded not guilty to the charge of second-degree murder. Jury selection begins Monday. Five hundred jury summonses have been issued.

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