Judge hears earlier Zimmerman calls to police

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Associated Press

Posted on June 25, 2013 at 10:30 AM

Updated Tuesday, Jun 25 at 10:32 AM

SANFORD, Fla. (AP) — The judge at the murder trial of George Zimmerman has now heard recordings of five calls to police dispatchers in which Zimmerman complained about "suspicious" characters in his neighborhood.

The calls were made in the six months before Zimmerman fatally shot Trayvon Martin in February of last year. In each of the calls, Zimmerman describes the suspicious characters as black males.

Prosecutors want the jury to hear the tapes, arguing that they show Zimmerman's state of mind -- and his increasing ill will at people he viewed as suspicious who were walking through his neighborhood.

A defense lawyer, though, argues that the calls were irrelevant -- and that no previous incidents have any bearing on whether Zimmerman is guilty or innocent in this case.

The judge says she will make a ruling after reviewing prior cases.

This is the first full day of testimony at Zimmerman's trial. Prosecutors today called the former coordinator of a police department's neighborhood watch program, who testified that she had worked with Zimmerman to set up a watch program in his neighborhood. When she was asked by a prosecutor whether neighborhood watch participants should follow or engage with suspicious people, she answered "no."

%@AP Links

190-a-14-(George Zimmerman and Sanford police 911 operator, in recorded 911 call, from February 26, 2012)-"Retreat View Circle"-This is one of the earlier 911 calls prosecutors are seeking to have admitted at George Zimmerman's murder trial. (25 Jun 2013)

<<CUT *190 (06/25/13)££ 00:14 "Retreat View Circle"

191-a-11-(George Zimmerman and Sanford police 911 operator, in recorded 911 call, from February 26, 2012)-"or Hispanic? Black."-This is one of the earlier 911 calls prosecutors are seeking to have admitted at George Zimmerman's murder trial. (25 Jun 2013)

<<CUT *191 (06/25/13)££ 00:11 "or Hispanic? Black."

GRAPHICSBANK: George Zimmerman, neighborhood watch captain on trial for fatally shooting Trayvon Martin, sits at the defense table, Seminole circuit court, Sanford, Florida, graphic element on gray (24 Jun 2013)

APPHOTO FLJR210: Wendy Dorival, volunteer program coordinator with the Sanford, Fla., Police Department, testifies during George Zimmerman's trial in Seminole County circuit court in Sanford, Fla. Tuesday, June 25, 2013. Zimmerman has been charged with second-degree murder for the 2012 shooting death of Trayvon Martin.(AP Photo/Orlando Sentinel, Gary W. Green, Pool) (25 Jun 2013)

<<APPHOTO FLJR210 (06/25/13)££

APPHOTO FLJR206: Defense attorney Mark O'Mara, left, and assistant state prosecutor Bernie de la Rionda, stand at the bench during George Zimmerman's trial in Seminole County circuit court in Sanford, Fla. Tuesday, June 25, 2013. Zimmerman has been charged with second-degree murder for the 2012 shooting death of Trayvon Martin. (AP Photo/Orlando Sentinel, Gary W. Green, Pool) (24 Jun 2013)

<<APPHOTO FLJR206 (06/24/13)££

APPHOTO FLJR201: George Zimmerman enters the courtroom for his trial in Seminole County circuit court in Sanford, Fla. Tuesday, June 25, 2013. Zimmerman has been charged with second-degree murder for the 2012 shooting death of Trayvon Martin.(AP Photo/Orlando Sentinel, Gary W. Green, Pool) (24 Jun 2013)

<<APPHOTO FLJR201 (06/24/13)££

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