Zimmerman Trial: Defense Treads Carefully on Victim's Past

Judge Debra Nelson allows narrow threshold for defense attempts to bring up Trayvon Martin's past.
6:42 | 06/25/13

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Transcript for Zimmerman Trial: Defense Treads Carefully on Victim's Past
This is a special report from ABC news. Hello everyone anti Hernandez in New York with -- ABC news digital special report the jury in the George -- trial is not in the courtroom today. -- the judge is still not sure whether the jury should -- past phone calls made by George -- to the police. It is Atlanta's act has more on the case I -- You know as we speak the -- actually now entering back into that courtroom as all eyes returned to worsen. George Zimmermann appeared stoic in court today as the prosecution argued that previous 911 calls should be played for the jury. At issue half a dozen calls that the prosecution argued could reflect Zimmerman state of mind prior to the night he shot and killed seventeen year old trade on -- These calls are relevant. How the defense chooses to spin them. It's not relevant just because the state says it is these phone calls the prosecution argued -- -- Zimmerman anger boiled up. Leading to the expletive filled 911 -- on that fatal night. Costs. Giving her time to review case laws another call being discussed in court Martin's female friend she was on the phone with him when Zimmerman first approach. Rachel -- tell her trailer on Martin say. What are you following -- for. -- -- -- -- -- -- -- And straight on Martin. Point dead. Zimmerman defense argued that -- was using a piece of concrete as a weapon. And that Zimmerman was lucky to have had the gun on him yes he did have to god and thank god. Because at that moment he was able to retrieve the gun when he couldn't take it anymore. When you've been crying for help for forty seconds. The trial continues today in front of that all female jury which legal experts tell us is really quite unusual. -- that ABC news New York. -- want to thank you now when a -- BC news radio correspondent -- your -- who is outside the courthouse in Sanford Florida Aaron. What's in these phone calls. Well these phone calls are. In the months and even years before George Zimmermann ever met -- -- -- but. The prosecution is trying to show that -- George Zimmerman was pre disposed to vigilantes form of justice and -- called him one of the -- somebody. Who was a little too persistent and somebody determined to get rid of people who are in his neighborhood. That he didn't want there and so they're putting on for the wanna put on these phone calls to show that he and called police often in the months and years before the fateful encounter with -- George would -- on Martin's. And those phone calls show that he called police he talked about suspicious characters in this neighborhood often. They were black and sometimes they were teenagers. Sometimes -- of those phone calls mirrored the one that he made. Tonight he met -- -- Martin. There's some suspicious character around looks like a young black men in his teens up to no good. And the prosecutors are trying to show that this was part of a pattern the defenses of course these calls are not relevant. The defense could argue however if they are led and that it essentially you know George Zimmerman called police this isn't the first time. But there was never any incidents following those other phone calls and in this case they're arguing that it -- -- -- on Martin -- And who instigated so there's a break in the pattern there. That's right and and the defense is actually. Believes that these calls shows George Zimmerman in a good life doing what he was supposed to do. As the neighborhood watch captain for his community calling police -- he saw something. Suspicious and then they're not doing anything beyond that and behaving as the neighborhood watch volunteers should. But they still believe that ultimately -- the calls are are not relevant and they're trying to keep them out it's going to be left the judge. To decide she heard some argument -- earlier outside the presence of the jury. And then the case turned toward. The neighborhood watch program in the prosecution called the former coordinator of the neighborhood watch program for the Sanford police department -- outlined the do's and don'ts of a neighborhood watch volunteers. Now his. Likely won't have any bearing on the judge's decision when it comes to Georgia -- but we should point out. That she is not allowed. The past. Is trade not marches to be included in the case in other words any of his past behavior will not be -- -- it and prosecutors were adamant the -- -- on Maarten is not the one on trial here and therefore. Pictures of him in the past that portray him in a certain life past behavior. But isn't. As relevant as the defense believes they wanted to show a different side of -- of on Martin and the ones we've seen in photographs of him. As a smiling youngster. They wanted to portray him more as a -- somebody who was prone to violence somebody who smoke pot somebody. -- who was very interest did in in. -- violent video games or more mixed martial arts something like that. Somebody who was -- for trouble and that's not the way the judge is going to -- and to allow him on -- will be portrayed. But in some cases the defense can use some text messages or other kinds of electronic communications and a very limited basis. Any testimony expected later today. Or expecting a lot of testimony from a whole host of witnesses whether they get to -- today -- We're not quite sure we still may get more testimony about the neighborhood watch program. There is a big sign put up in court that said neighborhood watch volunteers are not supposed to be the vigilante police. And and neighborhood watch coordinator testified that George Zimmerman was never told he was supposed to follow anybody as part of his duties never told pursue -- confrontation. On cross examination she also conceded that he behaved pretty well seem like somebody concerned about -- community trying to make things better we may get more about that. You heard -- -- talk about. The friend of save on Martin who was on the phone with him the night that he died she has yet to testify. But from her prosecutors are expected to elicit. The fear that she says she heard the -- -- on Martin's voice. -- actors he interesting updates in the Georgian government trial he's so much for joining us from Sanford Florida. He Chris Henry to complete write up tons the Zimmerman trial right here on abcnews.com. For now contact Hernandez a New York this is -- -- ABC news digital special report. This has been a special report from me.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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