*Day two of testimony in George Zimmerman‘s second-degree murder trial is underway in Sanford, Fla. this morning following a first day of rather colorful opening arguments.
“F—ing punks,” are the words prosecutor John Guy used as he began his opening statement Monday. These are the words Zimmerman said under his breath during his 2012 call to 911 about 17-year-old Trayvon Martin.
Not to be outdone, Zimmerman’s lawyer Don West opened his client’s defense with a joke about how difficult jury selection has been.
West explained, “sometimes you have to laugh to keep from crying.” He went on to say, “So let me, at considerable risk, let me, let me say, I’d like to tell you a little joke. I know how that may sound a bit weird in this context under these circumstances. But I think you’re the perfect audience for it. As long as you, uh, don’t, if you don’t like it, or you don’t think it’s funny or inappropriate, that you don’t hold it against Mr. Zimmerman. You can hold it against me if you want, but not Mr. Zimmerman. I have your assurance you won’t. Here’s how it goes…Knock-knock….Who’s there?…George Zimmerman….George Zimmerman, who?…Alright good. You’re on the jury.
The joke was met with crickets.
“Nothing?” asked West, eliciting a few laughs. “That’s funny.” [Scroll down to watch the clips from both opening statements.]
Zimmerman, 29, shot and killed Martin as the teen was walking back to the home of his father’s fiancee from a Sanford, Fla., convenience store on the night of Feb. 26, 2012.
The trial began at 8:30 this morning with Judge Debra Nelson making a pivotal ruling on whether calls Zimmerman made to a police dispatcher in the months before he killed Martin can be admitted into evidence. Following that ruling, the jury is expected to hear from a slew of prosecution witnesses that the state plans to call in an effort to show Zimmerman profiled Martin before killing the unarmed teen.
Zimmerman has pleaded not guilty in Martin’s slaying. The defense team claims Zimmerman was attacked by Martin and acted in self-defense. He faces a possible sentence of life in prison if he is convicted.