Stage set for George Zimmerman murder trial, one key ruling still under consideration

SANFORD, Fla. - Prosecutors in opening statements may say that George Zimmerman profiled Trayvon Martin but they may not say the Miami teen was racially profiled by the neighborhood watch volunteer.

Judge Debra Nelson made that ruling Friday ahead of Monday's expected opening statements in Zimmerman's second-degree murder trial.

Prosecutor John Guy had argued that there were a number of ways someone could be profiled other than race.

"That is not a racially charged term unless it's made so, and we don't intend to make it a racially charged term," Guy said. "There are a number of avenues someone can be profiled in any one way or combination. We don't intend to say he was solely profiled because of race."

Defense attorney Mark O'Mara said he was concerned using the word "profiled" would "infect" the jury with a racial component that shouldn't be there.

"I want to be very, very cautious," O'Mara said.

Nelson also said prosecutors will be allowed to claim the Zimmerman was a "wannabe cop" when he shot and killed 17-year-old Trayvon Martin in February 2012.

Zimmerman is pleading not guilty, claiming he fatally shot Martin in self-defense.

Defense attorneys had objected to prosecutors saying Martin was racially profiled. Martin was black and Zimmerman identifies himself as Hispanic.

Nelson has yet to rule on whether a prosecution expert can testify that screams for help on a 911 call came from 17-year-old Trayvon Martin. Defense attorneys don't want the expert to testify, claiming his analysis is flawed.

That ruling may not be revealed until Monday, when opening statements are expected to begin at 9 a.m.

Friday's pre-trial hearing followed the selection of a six-member, all-women jury on Thursday.

abcactionnews.com will provide live coverage of the George Zimmerman trial, which is expected to last 2 to 4 weeks.

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