A new judge has been assigned to George Zimmerman’s murder trial, stemming from the shooting death of Trayvon Martin. Circuit Judge Kenneth Lester Jr. will take over for Judge Jessica Recksiedler who stepped down from the second-degree murder case, due to conflict of interest.
The accused killer’s attorney, Mike O’Mara, requested that Recksiedler be taken off the case because her husband was partners with an attorney that Zimmerman once reached out to for representation. The lawyer, Mike NeJame, also serves as a legal correspondent for CNN, has commented on the Martin case, and referred Zimmerman to O’Mara. A second judge, Circuit Judge John Galluzzo, was disqualified from taking on the litigation because of his personal and professional relationship with O’Mara—who is also the godfather of one of his children—putting Lester next in line for the position.
Zimmerman is due in court Friday (April 20) for a bond hearing which will be presided over by Lester. The 28-year-old has been behind bars since turning himself in after it was announced that he would face second-degree murder charges for shooting and killing the Florida teen in February. While his self-defense claim has been discredited by many, the former neighborhood watch volunteer may find himself back on the streets, if the judge finds him eligible for bail.
If he were to be set free, the Florida resident would likely have to go back into hiding given the controversy surrounding the shooting, and Seminole County’s decision to close the investigation into any criminal wrongdoing at the hands of Zimmerman. The move prompted Sandford, Fla. Police Chief Bill Lee to temporarily step down from his post until the public backlash dies down.
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Photo: ABC News