This morning, Judge Debra Nelson made two huge rulings in George Zimmerman's murder trial, barring the defense from using an animation of Trayvon Martin's fatal shooting and text messages from his phone about fighting. Both of these decisions could be pivotal, as it's expected the defense will rest today.
The animated crime scene was created by defense expert Daniel Schumaker, and Zimmerman's attorneys say it was built using evidence. The prosecution claims that the defese is using Schumaker to spark an argument about Zimmerman and Martin's fatal confrontation while passing it off as testimony. While Judge Nelson ruled that the animation can be used as an aid—most likely during closing arguments—it will not be given to the jury when they're dismissed for deliberation.
Nelson blocked the use of old texts about fighting recovered from Martin's phone. The defense wanted to use them as proof that Martin was a seasoned fighter; the state argued that they were irrelevant because the defense could not prove they were sent by the teenager.
Should the defense rest their case today, the jury could be prepared to decide Zimmerman's fate by week's end.
[via Orlando Sentinel]