We're trying so hard in this case not to make it what everybody outside the courthouse wants it to be. —Mark O'Mara

SANFORD, Fla. — George Zimmerman's defense attorneys can use statements the neighborhood watch volunteer made to a police officer and neighbor immediately after he fatally shot 17-year-old Trayvon Martin.

Judge Debra Nelson made the ruling Monday that the remarks could be used shortly before opening statements in Zimmerman's second-degree murder trial.

Zimmerman told the officer and neighbor that he was yelling for help but nobody responded during his confrontation with Martin.

Zimmerman is pleading not guilty to second-degree murder, claiming self-defense.

Arguments over whether the remarks could be used by the defense delayed opening statements by a few minutes.