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Entries in 911 Call (12)

Sunday
Jun092013

Expert Says It's 'Imaginary' to Hear Trayvon Martin Pleas on 911 Call

Photo by Joe Burbank-Pool/Getty Images(ORLANDO, Fla.) -- A speech scientist said on Saturday that it was "imaginary stuff" to assert that Trayvon Martin could be heard pleading for help on 911 tapes the night he was killed in a confrontation with George Zimmerman, who is accused of murder in Martin's death.

The testimony came in an unusual court hearing, in which Zimmerman's defense team called two witnesses in an effort to rebut the testimony Friday of witnesses who said that Martin pleaded for help before he was shot and killed by the former neighborhood watch captain.

The defense questioned the methodology used to detect Martin's supposed howls and pleas on 911 calls made by frightened neighbors who witnessed the fatal altercation on Feb. 26, 2012.

Two forensic analysts said Friday that they detected, one by using a limited voice sample of the Florida teenager, Martin screaming for help on 911 audio moments before he was shot and killed by Zimmerman.

"That's imaginary stuff," speech scientist George Doddington said when asked by defense attorney Mark O'Mara about state witness Alan Reich's testimony that he picked up Martin screaming "I'm begging you" on 911 audio.

Doddington called the methodology used to detect the audio "absurd."

The expected final witness in the hearing to determine whether a jury will hear testimony that Martin screamed for help before he died got stuck on an airport tarmac.

The announcement by Judge Debra Nelson was followed by a court recess that will end with the first day of jury selection Monday as the second-degree murder trial of Zimmerman begins.

ABC News exclusively obtained a sample of Martin's voice and sent the very short sample taken from his cell phone, in which he can be heard horsing around with friends, to a forensic analyst.

Kent Gibson of Forensic Audio tells ABC News that a comparison of Martin's voice, Zimmerman's voice and the screams on the 911 tape, indicate the voice is more likely to be Zimmerman than Martin. But neither result reaches the 60 percent threshold of certainty Gibson said he needed to be assured.

Gibson noted much of the howling and pleading overheard on that 911 tape is muffled or obscured, and that only two seconds of the tape are useable. He said there could not be definitive identification of "the screamer."

During Saturday's hearing, Doddington testified that ultimately humans can tell the difference between voices better than any machine. The state's counter-argument was that the jury should be presented with all sides and make the decision for themselves.

After the the hearing, the defense filed yet another motion asking that the start of the trial be delayed.

Unless the judge grants the request, the hearing will resume after a jury of six is selected. The process to find that group of men or women along with four alternates will begin Monday. There were 500 notices sent out in March across Seminole County, Fla.

The names of potential jurors in the trial will be kept confidential. In court they will be referred to only by jury number.

Nelson also ruled earlier that potential jurors will not be sequestered. It is estimated that the process of jury selection will take anywhere from one to three weeks. Of course, finding 10 people who have heard little about this controversial, highly publicized case won't be easy.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Sunday
May192013

Suspects Butt Dial 9-1-1 During Alleged Burglary

Jupiterimages/Thinkstock(FRESNO, Calif.) -- Accidentally butt dialing someone is embarrassing or inconsequential to most, but for two Fresno, Calif., men, their cell phone mishap landed them in jail.

The call, which went to 911, started like any other call to the police dispatcher, with the operator asking, “What is your emergency?”

But when no one answered, the operator didn’t hang up, instead staying on the line and listening to the pair, who police identified as Nathan Teklemariam and Carson Rinehart, both 20, as they talked about wanting to do drugs. It wasn’t long before the conversation turned to breaking into a car.

“Get the bolt and give me the hammer just in case,” one of the two voices on the phone said.

Shortly after that statement, the dispatcher heard a window shatter and the people on the phone started yelling that they found prescription drugs.

As the two were driving away, police were already in the area searching for the men based on clues that the 911 dispatcher was feeding to them.

The police finally tracked the suspects down and pulled them over. The suspects acted confused and questioned what why they were being pulled over, police said.

“Oh, he’s following me, dog,” one of the suspects said in the recording. “Wow, what the [expletive] did I do?”

As they were being questioned, the suspects allegedly denied any wrongdoing, but after searching the car, police said they found items that allegedly were taken from the burglarized vehicle.
After being cuffed, the suspects were finally told how they were caught.

“This fool really called 911?” one of the suspects said. “Damn.”

“I have never heard of something like this,” Sgt. Jaime Rios of the Fresno Police Department told ABCNews.com. “There have been times where the dispatcher hears something like this, but never has a call come in before a crime being committed and staying on all the way to the end.”

Rios said the suspects are being charged with burglary, conspiracy and possession of stolen property.

 

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
May152013

Leila Fowler 911 Call Released, Brother to Appear in Court

ABC News | Calaveras Unified School District(SACRAMENTO, Calif.) -- In the 911 call from the day 8-year-old Leila Fowler was stabbed to death, her father's girlfriend, who was not home, didn't appear to know that Leila has been hurt. She told the operator that Leila was "freaking out" after her brother said he had allegedly seen an intruder in the house.

The brother has since been arrested and charged with second-degree murder with special circumstances for using a dangerous weapon in the killing. He is expected to make his first court appearance Wednesday, though his name has not been released because he is a minor.

On April 27, Leila's 12-year-old brother told Valley Springs, Calif., authorities that he found his sister stabbed to death after an intruder broke into their home. There were no adults at the house when the stabbing occurred. The boy said he called his parents, who alerted sheriff's deputies.

"My children are at home alone and a man just ran out of my house. My older son was in the bathroom and my daughter started screaming," the panicked woman said in the 911 call released by the Calaveras County Sheriff's Office. "When he came out, there was a man outside my house. I need an officer there."

The woman calling was Leila's father's girlfriend, according to ABC News' Sacramento affiliate KXTV.

When the dispatcher asked if the children had seen the intruder, the woman said, "They did see him. My daughter is freaking out right now."

She also said the children were "really scared" and that she was trying to get home.

The boy told authorities the intruder, whom he described as a tall man with a muscular build, fled the scene. The boy's description launched a 15-day manhunt that included door-to-door searches and divers in a reservoir.

The Calaveras County Sheriff's Office in Northern California announced the arrest of the 12-year-old boy on May 10.

Mark Reichel and Steve Plesser, attorneys from a firm hired by the boy's family to represent him, told KXTV that they met with him Wednesday at a juvenile detention facility.

"He's actually doing very well right now," Plesser said. "As well as can be expected in these really difficult times."

The two attorneys said they plan to ask the court to allow the boy to return to his family.

Neighbors in Valley Springs said they feared all along that Leila's brother -- not a mystery man the boy described -- might be responsible for the girl's stabbing death.

"It made us sadder, because he's just 12 years old," Barbara Barron told ABC News. "The family has lost two children now."

 

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Saturday
Feb022013

Florida Boy’s 911 Call Helps Police Nab Burglars

Comstock/Thinkstock(MIAMI) -- A brave 11-year-old boy’s phone call from a closet helped police catch three thieves ransacking his family’s Miami Beach, Fla. house while he was home alone on Friday.

The boy, whose identity is being concealed, heard a loud crash when his mother went out for a jog. As burglars broke into the home through a glass door and began to rummage through drawers, he immediately retreated to a closet in hopes of hiding safely, bringing a phone with him to dial 9-1-1.

“I was scared, I was shocked. All that went through my mind was ‘Please don’t see me. Please let them not see me. Please let the police catch them,” the boy told ABC News.

“I hear them breaking things. I hear things falling on the floor,” he said. “They weren’t speaking English. They were speaking like Russian or Haitian or maybe Spanish or French or something.”

Minutes later, Miami Beach police arrived on the scene, and successfully apprehended one of the suspects. The other two were caught hours later.

Willie Devell Travis Cuyler Jr., 20, Lance Matthew Riley, 20, and Terrance M. Young, 21, were arrested in connection with the break in, according to ABC Miami affiliate WPLG.

The boy received a medal from the Miami Beach Police Department to thank him for his courageous efforts.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Saturday
Jan122013

911 Calls Recorded Vicious Pitbull Attack

Jupiterimages/Thinkstock(SPARTANBURG, S.C.) -- The 911 calls that frantic witnesses made as they watched a group of pitbulls attack a South Carolina woman have been released by police.

The calls began coming into the Spartanburg, S.C., police department  in the early morning hours of Wednesday as three pitbulls began attacking Dreama Rice in the middle of a street there, waking neighbors.

“There are three dogs attacking this lady in the middle of the street. Oh, God. Ugh. Oh, my God,” one caller could be heard saying. “These dogs are ripping the poor woman apart.”

Police officers who arrived shortly after 2 a.m. pulled the dogs off of the woman and, when one dog turned toward an officer, shot one of the animals, according to ABC News affiliate WLOS.

“She ran in the street, they’re just biting on her,” one caller said.

Then, speaking to her child, the caller added, “I couldn’t do nothing, baby. She is just yelling and screaming.”

“They are shooting at the dogs. They have ripped this woman’s face off almost,” one caller said.

The other two dogs were seized and quarantined, and their owner, Ray Williams, faces charges. He told WLOS he kept the dogs in a fenced-in area but that they must have escaped.

Rice was hospitalized, though the extent of her injuries was not immediately clear.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Aug232012

Mother Who Allegedly Decapitated Her Son Admitted Killing to 911 Dispatcher

Zahree Thomas and his mother Chevonne Thomas are shown in these undated photos. (WABC/ABC News)(CAMDEN, N.J.) -- A New Jersey woman who allegedly decapitated her son and placed his head in the freezer admitted that she had killed him to a 911 dispatcher moments before she stabbed herself to death.

Chevonne Thomas, 33, initially blamed her boyfriend for the killing of Zahree, 2, when she called 911 early Wednesday, but quickly recanted and said she was responsible for the death that took place in her Camden, N.J., home.

"You know what, I did it, I'm lying, I'm lying, I'm lying, I did it," Thomas said in the call to emergency dispatch that was released Wednesday night.

"I did it, I did it, I did it," she repeated later.

Later on the call, which lasted about six minutes, Thomas admitted that she was on the antidepressant Prozac, but had not taken the medication the day she and her son died.

"I still take it. I didn't take it today, but I should have," she said on the call.

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Police responding after the call found the body of Zahree on the first floor of the home, and later the boy's head in the freezer. A chest stab wound and marks on the child's arms were found by a medical examiner, Jason Laughlin, spokesman for the Camden County prosecutor's office, said.

From downstairs, police officers heard Thomas still on the phone with the 911 dispatch and, Laughlin said, communicated with her briefly. A second set of officers entered the home via a second-story window, but were unable to reach her before she stabbed herself in the throat, Laughlin said.

As an infant in 2010, Zahree was taken away from Thomas because she left him alone in a car after she took drugs and passed out in a nearby park, Laughlin said. She had smoked marijuana laced with the hallucinogenic drug PCP, Laughlin said she told hospital officials.

A friend and neighbor found the boy and took him from the car, and Thomas was taken to the hospital. Thomas was charged with child endangerment in 2010, but the case was dropped because a year later the friend who had taken the boy from Thomas' vehicle said that Thomas had given her the child through a clear transfer of custody, Laughlin said.

Tayari Horcey, a neighbor of Thomas who shared the same landlord, was one of the last people to see her and Zahree alive. She told ABC News that she would frequently chat with Thomas, and that nothing seemed unusual when she saw Thomas for the final time before she and her son died.

"She was sitting in the doorway being her usual self, quite, at 12 in the afternoon," Horcey said. "She was blowing bubbles with her son.

"The last time I saw her was at 10:30 at night. She was by herself at that point."

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Friday
Jun292012

George Zimmerman's Dad Testifies Recorded Voice Howling for Help Is His Son

ABC News(SANFORD, Fla.) -- George Zimmerman's father listened to frantic howls for help overheard in a 911 call Friday and told a Florida courtroom that the voice "was absolutely George's."

Zimmerman's father, Robert Zimmerman, took the stand during a bail hearing for his son. Zimmerman is charged with second degree murder in the shooting death of unarmed teenager Trayvon Martin.

Both father and son appeared in court with the distinct outline of bullet proof vests beneath their suits.

The judge did not immediately rule on Zimmerman's request to be let out on bond.

During the hearing, Zimmerman's lawyer Mark O'Mara played a tape of a 911 call in which a woman tells police that someone is yelling and she thinks they are calling for help. In the background of the call frantic screams for help can be heard, with at least 14 calls for help in a 40 second period.

The howls stop and the woman tells the 911 dispatcher that she just heard a shot.

Robert Zimmerman listened to the tape with the rest of the courtroom and was then asked if he could identify the voice calling for help.

"It was definitely George's," the father said.

The parents of Trayvon Martin insist that the voice calling for help is their son's.

Earlier in the hearing, a member of a Sanford, Fla., ambulance crew told a court that Zimmerman's head, including his moustache and beard, were covered in blood after the shooting of Martin.

EMT Kevin O'Rourke testified during Zimmerman's bond hearing Friday morning that "45 percent" of Zimmerman's head had blood on it and that the lacerations on Zimmerman's head "would probably need stitches."

O'Rourke also testified that Zimmerman's nose was broken and urged him to see a doctor within 24 hours. The EMT examined Zimmerman after having checked on Martin, who had died after being shot by Zimmerman.

Zimmerman, 28, has said that he shot the unarmed teenager after being knocked down, having his head banged on the pavement and then believing that Martin was going for Zimmerman's handgun.

Zimmerman's lawyers Friday tried to establish that their client might have thought he had suffered a "life-threatening injury."

In addition, a forensic accountant for the defense, Adam Magill, walked the court through the donations to Zimmerman's legal defense fund.

Under cross examination, however, accountant Adam Magill testified that Zimmerman and his wife had shifted about $132,000 between four accounts, often transferring sums of $9,999. Transfers of $10,000 or more are required to be noted by banks and a prosecutor suggested it was intended "to make it look like he didn't have the money."

Zimmerman hopes a judge will agree to let him out of jail Friday. The judge revoked Zimmerman's $150,000 bond earlier this month when prosecutors told the judge Zimmerman and his wife misled the court about how much money they had.

He appeared in court Friday without the shackles he wore in his last appearance, but the outlines of a bullet proof vest under his gray suit was clearly visible. He faces the prospect of a prolonged stay in jail if his plea to get out on bond is rejected.

Also present was the family of Trayvon Martin.

It is Zimmerman's second appearance before Circuit Court Judge Kenneth Lester. During the last one on April 20 he sat stone faced as his wife lied to the court about the Zimmerman's finances.

Zimmerman's wife, Shellie Zimmerman, told the judge she was essentially broke, when in the days leading up to that hearing, she and her husband held clumsily coded jailhouse conversations about shuffling to various accounts $135,000 in cash amassed from donations to Zimmermans website. Audio tapes of the hushed jailhouse conversations were released earlier this month.

Shellie Zimmerman has been charged with perjury.

Orlando defense attorney Mark Lippman said that whether or not Lester grants Zimmerman bail, he is likely to "receive a tongue-lashing from the judge."

It is also expected that if the normally stern judge grants Zimmerman bail, the bond would be much higher than his previous bond of $150,000. Typically bail bondsmen charge 10 percent of the total bond.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Jun122012

LISTEN: Ohio Teen Calls 911, Reports Dad Stabbed Mom

Comstock/Thinkstock(GROVE CITY, Ohio) -- An Ohio man killed his ex-wife outside an apartment when she came to pick up their children and instructed his 13-year-old son to call 911 to report the stabbing death, police said.

Jeremy Roberts, 38, allegedly stabbed his ex-wife, Candice Roberts, 36, during an argument on Sunday when she came to pick up her 13-year-old son and 4-year-old daughter. The couple also have a 16-year-old daughter.

“My dad just killed my mom. He just told me to call you guys,” the unidentified 13-year-old told the dispatcher.

“He did what?” the dispatcher asked.

“He just ran out and killed my mom. She is laying in the grass in front of our apartment. He told me to call you guys,” the teen replied.

[ CLICK HERE TO LISTEN TO THE 9-1-1 CALL ]

Jeremy Roberts then grabbed the phone and told the dispatcher he wasn’t going to harm anyone else and that he could find the victim outside, covered by a blanket.

“I love you guys,” Roberts can be heard telling his children. “Wait, one more hug.”

Roberts’ 4-year-old daughter then asks: “When are we gonna see mama?”

The father of three is charged with murder and is being held at the Franklin County Jail. Roberts is barred from contacting his children, who are in the care of family members. A $250,000 bond was set at a hearing on Monday.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Jun062012

Missing Florida Mom: Husband Says 'I Definitely Did It' in 911 Call

Courtesy Blanco Family(MIRAMAR, Fla.) -- The estranged husband of a missing Florida mom told a 911 dispatcher that he "definitely did it" before changing course in an April 2 call to report his wife's disappearance.

Under Florida law, police could not release the identity of the caller, but Cid Torrez, the estranged husband of Vilet Torrez, 38, has previously told ABC News he was the person who reported her missing Monday, April 2.

The recording was released by the Miramar Police Department on Tuesday.

"I don't know.  Saturday, she wasn't here, all right?  And, Friday, [unintelligible] Saturday morning or Friday night, she didn't come to sleep, and then I don't know about Saturday, and now Sunday, I definitely did it, so ..." the caller said.

"You did what?" the dispatcher asked.

"I mean, um, it was 1 o'clock and she didn't show up either," the male voice said.

"OK, so she's been missing since Friday?" the dispatcher asked.

The caller said he guesses that is the case.

Police have called Cid Torrez a person of interest but have reiterated that he is not a suspect and has cooperated.

Richard Della Fera, Cid's attorney, said the statement that he "definitely did it" was made during a time when his client was distraught and trying to recount the calls he made to Vilet and her mother that led to the 911 call.

"Around 1 a.m., he called Vilet's mother for the first time to explain that he had not heard from Vilet all weekend.  This was a call he did not want to have to make," Della Fera said in a statement issued to ABC News' Miami affiliate.  "In listening to the 911 call, it is clear that Cid was recounting for himself and the officer his efforts to piece together the whereabouts of Vilet for the prior few days and what he had been doing to locate her."

Tania Rues, a spokeswoman for the Miramar Police Department, declined to discuss what the caller could have meant.

"I can't speculate as to what the male caller was intending to say.  I think the 911 call speaks for itself," she told ABC News.

On Monday, Florida police released a surveillance video from March 31 at 5:17 a.m. that showed the missing mom made it inside her gated community.

What remains unclear, however, are the crucial few minutes after Vilet Torrez was seen on the tape.  Phone records obtained by ABC News' Miami affiliate show she called Cid Torrez twice at 5:19 a.m on March 31.  She was reported missing two days later.

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Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
May232012

911 Operator Overheard Sleeping on the Job

iStockphoto/Thinsktock(WASHINGTON) -- Montgomery County, Maryland authorities have just released audio of a woman who called 911 to seek aid for her ailing husband -- but who heard snoring, not help, on the other end of the line.

The April 4 call recording reveals a woman upset about her husband who was having trouble breathing, ABC News affiliate WJLA-TV in Washington, D.C. reports, and a dispatcher who was literally asleep on the job.  After five minutes, the dispatcher did return to the call, but another dispatcher eventually handled the plea for help.

The dispatcher, who wasn't identified, was suspended without pay. The 911 operator is reportedly a fireman, who was 17 hours into a 24-hour overtime shift.

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Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio







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