Assistant State Attorney Richard Mantei had begun playing for jurors a call Zimmerman had made to police, reporting a suspicious black man in the neighborhood.

But the subject was not Trayvon Martin. It was someone else.

Zimmerman had made many similar calls to police in the months before Trayvon's death.

Defense attorney Mark O'Mara jumped up and objected, asking that the audio-playback be halted.

It's irrelevant, O’Mara argued, because it has nothing to do with the night Zimmerman shot Trayvon, a high school junior from Miami Gardens.

But it does, said Mantei, because it explains Zimmerman’s state of mind when he told police dispatcher Sean Noffke just before shooting Trayvon, “those a******* always get away.”

The judge, not sure what to do, told attorneys to research case law and return Tuesday at 8:30 a.m. to hash it out.

After opening statements wrapped up in the mid-afternoon Monday, prosecutors began calling witnesses and went about the business of trying to send the Neighborhood Watch volunteer to prison for life.

The first was a ninth grader — the adolescent son of Trayvon’s father’s girlfriend — who had spent the day with Trayvon, playing video games and watching television.

Then came the 7-Eleven clerk who did not recall selling Trayvon a package of Skittles and a canned soft drink about 45 minutes before the shooting, but he was able to authenticate a pair of store security videos that jurors then watched, showing the South Florida teenager picking up items and paying for them.

Late in the day Noffke, the dispatcher who spoke to Zimmerman that night, testified about their conversation.

“Do you hear anger in that voice?” O'Mara asked.

“No,” said Noffke.

The second most talked-about moment of the day — after the profanity in the state’s opening — came when West tried to tell a joke to jurors but bombed.

“Knock, knock,” he said.

“Who's there?” he said, acting out both sides of the joke.

“George Zimmerman.”

“George Zimmerman who?”

“All right, good. You're on the jury.”

rstutzman@tribune.com or 407-650-6394. jeweiner@tribune.com or 407-420-5171.