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Trayvon Martin Case: 2 Forensic Voice Experts Weight In On 911 Call

April 10, 2012

The Trayvon Martin case is gaining national attention. The case concerns the Feb. 26 killing of an African American teenager by a neighborhood watch volunteer, George Zimmerman, in Sanford, Florida. The defense’s strategy is to argue Zimmerman acted in self-defense under the “Stand Your Ground Law.”

Two forensic voice identification experts weigh in on the matter and reveal their findings, and are prepared to testify in court. Recent evidence found in the 911 call taken just before 17 year old Trayvon Martin was shot suggests it was not the voice of George Zimmerman on the call.

Expert Tom Owen, of Owen Forensic Services LLC and chair emeritus for the American Board of Recorded Evidence, told MSNBC that he used software called Easy Voice Biometrics to try to match Zimmerman’s voice to the call.

“I’ve run it against 300 voices and it was better than 99 percent in all cases,” he told MSNBC when asked about its accuracy.

Owen told the newspaper that the software compared the screams to Zimmerman’s voice and returned a 48 percent match. He said he would expect a match of higher than 90 percent, considering the quality of the audio.

“As a result of that, you can say with reasonable scientific certainty that it’s not Zimmerman,” Owen told the Sentinel.

Experts confirm that it was not Zimmerman’s voice screaming for help in the background, shaking the strength of his defense strategy. This means that Zimmerman may have indeed actively pursued Marin even though the 911 dispatcher told him to stay in his car.

Experts play a crucial role in cases. The voice analysis of this specific 911 call can break Zimmerman’s case if they use the evidence on the stand.

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