With his trial unlikely to begin until next year, George Zimmerman is looking to dismiss his second-degree murder case by seeking a “stand your ground” hearing.
Mike O’Mara, lawyer to the accused killer, announced Thursday (Aug. 9) via the website he created for his client, that the hearing will not include a jury, and will only depend on a ruling put out by a judge. “Since the beginning, there has been a rush to judgment in the case against George Zimmerman,” reads the statement on the site. “Since the first day of his involvement, Mr. O’Mara has emphasized that people should be patient and wait for the evidence to be released before forming opinions about the case.”
Depending on the outcome of the hearing—described as a “mini-trial”—Zimmerman could get off for fatally shooting 17-year-old Trayvon Martin in late February. Under the state’s laws, a person in fear for their safety is allowed to take matters into their own hands, and can potentially escape any criminal ramifications. “If the Court rules in favor of the defendant in a ‘Stand Your Ground’ hearing, not only are criminal charges dismissed, the defendant is also immune from civil actions related to the shooting. The primary focus of a ‘Stand Your Ground’ hearing is whether George Zimmerman reasonably believed that his use of his weapon was necessary to prevent great bodily harm to himself at the hands of Trayvon Martin.”
Since the death of the high school student, Zimmerman has maintained that he shot Martin in self-defense. The 28-year-old pursued the teen, even after a 911 operator asked him not to. He alleges that he thought Martin was suspicious, and was unaware that he was staying in the neighborhood at the home of his father’s girlfriend. After a verbal exchange turned physical, Zimmerman fired his gun at Martin, and was only briefly taken into custody, before special prosecutor Angela Corey brought second-degree murder charges against him one month later.
Zimmerman has been in hiding at a safe house since being released on bond. He has re-launched his personal website to elicit contributions from the public. Earlier in the week, his parents started their own website asking for financial support.
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