Judge reluctant to delay in Zimmerman case - FOX 13 News

Judge reluctant to delay in Zimmerman case

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SANFORD, Fla. (WOFL FOX 35 ORLANDO) -

The judge in the case of the former neighborhood watch leader charged in the shooting of Florida teen Trayvon Martin says it would take extreme circumstances for her to grant a continuance for his upcoming self-defense immunity hearing.

Judge Debra Nelson said Thursday that she would, however, consider rolling George Zimmerman's immunity hearing under the state's so-called "Stand Your Ground" law into the scheduled June trial.

Defense attorney Mark O'Mara will formally get to argue for that during another pre-trial hearing next week.  O'Mara says he needs more time to prepare, saying the state has been slow on providing evidence.

The judge said she wants to stick to an immunity hearing date of April 22, unless there is good reason to change it.  O'Mara has suggested combining both the immunity hearing and the murder trial so he can gain more time.  Originally, he requested an immunity hearing, hoping to focus on the "Stand Your Ground" law and get the claim of self-defense upheld in court, thereby avoiding trial.  Now, that may change.

Attorneys from both sides also asked for a jury pool of 500 people for the second-degree murder trial, set to begin on June 10.  O'Mara said it's important.

"That's the most I've ever asked for at this time. But we have so much pre-trial publicity in this case, that it's going to take a lot of jurors to get to those who have not only heard about it, but can set aside those who have heard about it.  And that's going to be the real issue."

O'Mara also asked that Martin's family attorney Benjamin Crump be deposed on February 22. He said Crump mishandled evidence relating to Witness #8, the girlfriend who Trayvon Martin was talking to via cell phone right before he was shot and killed.

"If, in fact, there is some conspiracy out there that he has alleged in his statements to have existed where they hid stuff or did something wrong, I am certainly entitled to know about that. There's a bunch of things that Mr. Crump has said."

FOX 35 has contacted Crump and we are awaiting a response.

Meanwhile, if the immunity hearing goes on as scheduled, O'Mara is concerned about being ready.   "I think it's going to be very difficult.  We are truly under the gun now."

 

Some information taken from the Associated Press.

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