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Anchored by Jake Tapper, The Lead airs at 4 p.m. ET on CNN.

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July 1st, 2013
05:14 PM ET

Analysts: Witness may hurt prosecution in George Zimmerman trial

On Monday, for the first time, jurors in the George Zimmerman trial heard from the former neighborhood watch captain about the events that led to Trayvon Martin's death on February 26, 2012.

Audio tape of Zimmerman’s retelling of the confrontation between himself and Martin could bolster the defense’s key contention: that Zimmerman reacted in self-defense.

"I was still yelling for help and I could see people looking and some guy yells out, 'I'm calling 911.' And I said, 'Help me, help me, he's killing me,'" Zimmerman said during his first police interview the night of the shooting. "And he puts his hand on my nose and on my mouth and he says, 'You're going to die tonight.'"

The FBI voice analyst who testified Monday morning said he could not determine who was yelling from the 911 call that had screaming in the background. It appears an odd move by the prosecution to allow the jury to hear Zimmerman claim - in the audio recording - that he was yelling.

"The prosecution feels that if it introduces this, it has control over it," said investigative journalist Diane Diamond. But the reality is "no matter what the prosecution brings up, the defense is able to say, 'Hey yea, but wait a minute, our guy says it was him that was calling for help.' And there's nobody left to dispute it."

"What I find bizarre is why they called this audio expert in the morning to say that he couldn't tell whose voice it was," said CNN legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin.

"Why call a witness who can parade his ignorance before the jury? It just seems to me to raise more questions than it settles," said Toobin.

"I can see why the defense might want to call someone who just throws all their chips in the air and says, 'I don't know.' But why would a prosecutor do such a thing?" said Toobin.

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