George Zimmerman is charged with the murder of Trayvon Martin. Zimmerman claims that he acted under Florida’s Self Defense Laws. He stated that he was merely defending himself against Martin. He will be setting forth a defense under the Florida Stand Your Ground Law. His case is set to go to trial in June.
Today, Zimmerman went before a judge in Sanford FL. As a condition of Zimmerman’s release, his is required to wear a GPS tracking system. His Florida attorneys asked that the GPS tracking device be removed. Zimmerman is not permitted to leave Seminole County while his Florida murder charges are pending. His Florida criminal defense attorneys also requested that Zimmerman be allowed to leave Seminole County. Zimmerman “is currently out of jail on a $1 million bond.” He attended his court hearing today “clad in a dark suit and presumably a bulletproof vest as he typically wears in public.” His Florida criminal defense attorneys argued that he has been living “in hiding while awaiting trial for shooting unarmed teenager Trayvon Martin.” (George Zimmerman Forced to Keep Wearing GPS, Must Remain in County)
Zimmerman’s probation officer, Adam Vincent, testified at the hearing. “Vincent testified that Zimmerman has always complied with the terms of his probation. O’Mara argued that Zimmerman has ‘shown himself where he should be free’ and should not be restricted to Seminole County because it does not allow him to speak with attorneys, expert witnesses or to help his attorneys prepare for the upcoming trial.” (George Zimmerman Forced to Keep Wearing GPS, Must Remain in County)
Due to the high profile nature of the case and the appearance of bias in Seminole County, a special prosecutor was appointed to the case (Read Jacksonville State Attorney Office to Prosecute Florida Self-Defense Case). Duval County State Attorney, Angela Corey, was appointed to prosecute the second-degree murder and Florida firearms criminal case. Zimmerman, who is currently out of jail on a $1 million bond, appeared in court today, “clad in a dark suit and presumably a bulletproof vest as he typically wears in public.”
The lead prosecutor in this Florida murder case is Bernie De La Rionda. Many Jacksonville criminal lawyers and Jacksonville criminal defense attorneys know him due to his continued service to the Duval County State Attorney’s Office. He “argued that the state ‘objects strenuously to any modification of his GPS or his boundaries’ and reminded Judge Debra Nelson that Zimmerman lied to the court about how much money he could provide for bond and neglected to mention the existence of a second passport. De La Rionda argued that the GPS is as much for Zimmerman’s protection as it is for the state’s benefit.” (ABC News)
De La Roinda seems to have prevailed. He argued, “Isn’t the defendant safer if law enforcement knows exactly where he is?” Then, the judge denied Zimmerman’s motion to remove the GPS tracker. He was also order to remain in Seminole County. He is permitted to travel to Orange County to meet with his lawyers.
The parties debated over more than the GPS monitor and Zimmerman’s ability to leave the county. ABC News further reported:
“The two sides also wrangled over identifying the voice heard screaming for help during the deadly confrontation between Zimmerman and Martin. Members of Zimmerman’s family said the voice was his, while Martin’s family claimed the voice belonged to the teenager. Martin’s father initially said the voice was not his son, but when he heard it with heightened clarity, said it was Trayvon. Defense Attorney Don West argued that the defense is obligated to know which witnesses have heard the audio and identified who it was yelling on the calls. The judge countered, saying that anyone could have now heard the audio on the internet and that the prosecution has no greater obligation than to disclose whether or not each witness made a statement to law enforcement.”
It seems as if this case has taken the news media spot light every week. Due to the involvement of the 4th Judicial Circuit State Attorneys Office in this case, Florida criminal attorneys in the area will be watching this closely. Duval County Lawyers, Clay County Attorneys, and Nassau County Lawyers will all be watching the prosecution and defense of this Florida self defense case.