A Florida judge denied George Zimmerman’s request to extend the start of his second-degree murder trial, Tuesday (Feb. 5).
During a hearing held on what would’ve been Trayvon Martin’s 18th birthday, lawyers for Zimmerman—who is accused of murdering the unarmed teen—were not allowed to push the June start date.
According to Circuit Judge Debra Nelson, lawyers will have enough time to prepare. “We are four months away from a trial date,” Nelson said. “I don’t see any of your issues to be insurmountable.”
Zimmerman’s lead counsel, Mike O’Mara, accused prosecutors of being slow to turn over evidence. He also cited the deposing of extra witnesses, including Martin’s family members, as one of the reasons for the needed delay. “We are working hard. We are running into an enormous amount of resistance,” O’Mara said.
Prosecutor Bernie de La Rionda has denied O’Mara’s claims.
Martin’s birth anniversary was marked by supporters singing “Happy Birthday” outside the courthouse. “The family has a special burden to bear today,” O’Mara noted. “No matter what, a tragedy occurred.”
Four Florida events honoring Martin’s life will be held this weekend. The “I Am Trayvon Martin Day of Remembrance Peace Walk” kicks off Saturday (Feb. 9) at 10:00 a.m. at Ives Estate Park in Miami. Another ceremony, and an “Inaugural Remembrance Dinner” for Martin, will be held at the Double Tree Miami Airport Hotel Convention Center in the evening.
The dinner will benefit the Trayvon Martin Foundation, and will honor the likes of Rev. Jesse Jackson, and the Rev. Al Sharpton.
Click below to see more information on both events, and tributes to Martin.
Photos: Justice 4 Trayvon/Steven M. Doyle