George Zimmerman Waives "Stand Your Ground" Pretrial Hearing
George Zimmerman, the man charged with fatally shooting Trayvon Martin, stood before Circuit Judge Debra Nelson on Tuesday morning and told her he will not have a "stand your ground" hearing before his trial, per his attorney's recommendation.
Mark O'Mara, Zimmerman's defense attorney, told Nelson that there was no requirement for the immunity hearing to take place before trial and that it could be requested after the prosecution presented its case.
"We'd much rather have the jury address the issue of criminal liability or lack thereof," O'Mara told the judge.
O'Mara's point is that his client shouldn't be asked to waive his rights and that he might argue for immunity once the prosecutor presents all evidence in its case against Zimmerman.
Today's hearing began with several minor discovery issues. Along with Zimmerman's not seeking immunity hearing, Nelson ordered the state to turn over cell phone data it hasn't turned in and for both the state and defense to swap any enhanced audio of the 911 recordings of screams that led to the shooting.
The defense was also granted five more witnesses to its list.
Zimmerman's attorney also requested the court unseal details on a civil settlement Trayvon's parents received from Zimmerman's homeowner's association. O'Mara argues that the settlement could influence their testimony, should they be called as witnesses.
Nelson will allow the defense and prosecutors to see full copies of the settlement, but the public will see only a redacted version.
Zimmerman has pleaded not guilty, claiming self-defense. Martin was fatally shot in February 2012 during a fight with Zimmerman in a Sanford gated community.
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you'll never miss New Times Broward-Palm Beach's biggest stories.