An attempt to allow a witness to offer live video testimony in the murder trial of George Zimmerman ended in failure on Wednesday after Internet pranksters inundated his Skype connection with dozens of call requests.
Prosecutors introduced Seminole State College criminal justice professor Gordon Scott Pleasants by displaying a Skype video chat that included his user name and a list of other contacts.
While Skype testimony is becoming more common, most trials are not shown live to hundreds of thousands of people across the nation. And some of the viewers on Wednesday apparently decided to take the opportunity to congratulate Pleasants on his new-found fame and began calling his Skype number.
As the prosecution attempted to ask questions, alerts began flooding the screen, notifying Pleasants that people all over the country wanted to chat.
“Is that his phone?” Judge Debra Nelson wondered.
Pleasants laughed as he realized that he could not clear the alerts messages from the screen faster than they were appearing.
“There’s now a really good chance that we’re being toyed with, just so you know,” Zimmerman attorney Mark O’Mara noted.
Following a short break, Pleasants returned to testify in a traditional audio-only telephone call.
Watch this video from MSNBC, broadcast July 3, 2013.