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TODAY   |  June 24, 2013

Zimmerman judge: No expert testimony on 911 call

Opening statements in the second-degree murder trial of George Zimmerman are expected to take place this morning after the judge in the case ruled that while jury members may hear a 911 call made the night Trayvon Martin was killed, no experts will be allowed to testify about it. NBC’s Kerry Sanders reports.

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>>> thanks. now to florida where later this morning opening statements begin in the murder trial of george zimmerman . kerry is there with the latest on the trial. good morning.

>> reporter: good morning savannah. the jury will likely hear a 911 call and in the background there are screams. is that 17-year-old trayvon martin's voice or is it george zimmerman ? the judge now ruled no experts will be allowed to testify to help the jury figure out whose voice that is. when 29-year-old george zimmerman shot and killed 27-year-old trayvon martin, a woman nearby was on 911 with the police. those recorded screams before the fatal shot --

>> so you think he is yelling help.

>> yes.

>> all right. what is your --

>> just -- there's gunshots.

>> reporter: is evidence the state wants to present to the jury in the murder case but now judge deborah nelson issued a ruling that while the tape can be plaid for the jury, no experts will be allowed to testify about the call, whose voice that might be, or what one state expert believed was being said.

>> this is a serious blow to the prosecution because without expert testimony to establish whose voice was crying for help on the 911 tape, this is a circumstantial case and it can be tough to establish guilt beyond a reasonable debt.

>> reporter: he pled not guilty. he says she shot martin in self-defense. the attorneys wanted to limit the language prosecutors can use but they said the state can describe george zimmerman as a want to be cop and vigilante and can say the evening that he shot and killed martin that he profiled the teenager.

>> i would ask the state to stay away from racial profiling but not the word profiling itself if it's used in other terms.

>> reporter: all six jurors are women. five of the jurors are white. the other juror is either hispanic or black. with no expert testimony in this case, savannah, it's expected the trial will now take less time.

>>> thank you.