Zimmerman's request to push back trial denied
SANFORD, Fla. — A judge has denied George Zimmerman's request to delay his trial in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin.
The trial's start remains as June 10. Circuit Judge Debra Nelson issued her ruling during an often heated, one-hour hearing on Tuesday.
Zimmerman, a former neighborhood-watch volunteer, is charged with second-degree murder in the fatal shooting Feb. 26 last year.
He called police and described Martin as suspicious. Zimmerman soon fired in self-defense, saying that Martin attacked him. Authorities determined that Martin was unarmed.
The events on Tuesday began in front of Seminole County Courthouse with family members and supporters singing “Happy Birthday” to Martin, who would have turned 18. Defense attorney Mark O'Mara acknowledged the teen's birthday at the start of the hearing, stating that “no matter what, a tragedy occurred.”
O'Mara then asked the judge to grant the defense access to purchase records from the 7-Eleven where Martin shopped the night of the shooting. The state did not object, and the judge granted the motion.
Zimmerman's attorney also wanted his client's trial delayed. O'Mara had argued in a lengthy motion that there's much work left to be done and many depositions to conduct. The defense, he said, has had to fight the state for key evidence and can't possibly be ready by June.
“The only additional argument is I need more time,” O'Mara said in court.
Prosecutor Bernie de la Rionda countered that O'Mara doesn't deserve any more time.
“It's February, and the trial's set for June,” he said, adding that some delays that have happened so far have been the defense's fault.
“Sometimes we set aside days of depositions, and they're canceled. That's frustrating,” de la Rionda said.
The judge said both parties had estimated they would be ready by June. O'Mara's issues don't appear to be “insurmountable.”
The parties then moved on to other pieces of evidence that O'Mara argues he needs.
The attorneys argued about data downloaded from Martin's phone. O'Mara has said there's information that the state is withholding.
Nelson told the state to provide a full chain-of-custody report for the phone, indicating which tests were conducted where.
O'Mara also asked the judge to order the state to provide further information on the social-media accounts of Witness 8, who is expected to be one of the state's most important witnesses because she said she heard the first words of the confrontation between Martin and Zimmerman.
The judge ruled that the defense can get the social-media information through a “mini” deposition before the witness is formally deposed.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Name of cop withheld in shooting of motorist in South Carolina
- Food industry players fighting proposed dietary guidelines drop millions on lobbyists
- 2 women advance to final phase of Army Ranger training
- U.S., Hong Kong researchers develop computer model to examine spread of influenza
- Pressure mounts for Biden to join 2016 White House race
- ‘Fast, Furious’ pistol was sold to gunman in foiled Texas terrorist attack
- Construction of giant bridges sparks curiosity, high demand for public tours
- State Department accuses top Clinton aide of violations
- 4 dead, 65 sickened in Bronx by Legionella
- Obama’s nuclear deal lobbying sways Democrats
- Marines finally ready to roll out controversial fighter jet