A Florida judge gave George Zimmerman’s lawyers access to Trayvon Martin’s personal information, including school and social media records, Friday (Oct. 19). Judge Debra S. Nelson ruled that Zimmerman’s defense team needs access to the information to determine whether or not the teen had a history of violence. “I think you’re entitled to those records,” she said.
Attorneys from both sides were commissioned to the courtroom, alongside Zimmerman, before Nelson handed down her decision. “I’m glad to have some of the discovery issues resolved. Now we can move forward,” said Zimmerman’s lawyer, Mike O’Mara. According to O’Mara, Martin was involved in violence. “There are videos out there suggesting that he involved himself in MMA fighting,” he said. “That he has an experienced level with that.”
Zimmerman asserts that he was attacked by the 17-year-old who stood over 6 feet tall. The 29-year-old has said that he suffered head injuries at the hands of Martin, leading him to use his gun in self-defense.
Benjamin Crump, the attorney representing Martin’s family, fought to stop the release of information, due to lack of relevance, a point which was argued by prosecutors.
O’Mara also filed an emergency motion requesting that the court grant a deposition from officers belonging to the Sanford Police Dept. Members of the force, including former chief Bill Lee held meetings after Zimmerman shot the high school student, and determined that he should not be charged for the act. Learning of the correspondence thanks to a deposition of police Sgt. Joseph Santiago, O’Mara believes that police came to the conclusion after interviewing witnesses. “If all those witnesses had a similar opinion, I’m very concerned of what the basis for the prosecution is,” he added. “We certainly now have a lot more to look into. I didn’t know we’d be going down this path. Now it’s been opened up to us, we’re going to investigate it to wherever it leads us.”
One month after the February shooting, Zimmerman was charged with second-degree murder. A trial date in the case has been set for June 10.
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