Published February 05, 2013
ORLANDO, Fla. – A judge is denying a request by the attorneys of George Zimmerman, the former neighborhood watch leader accused of shooting Florida teenager Trayvon Martin, to delay trial.
The request was denied on the day Martin would have turned 18.
On Tuesday, Zimmerman's attorneys presented a motion asking Judge Debra Nelson to push the trial from mid-June to November. They say the prosecutor has been slow in turning over needed evidence. The state attorney denied the accusation.
As an example, Zimmerman's lead attorney Mark O'Mara said someone from State Attorney's Office had removed Martin's cell phone from an evidence locker to have it sent to California for analysis, but the state has refused to give him any information about the agency and the type of tests being run on the phone. He also said prosecutors had made it difficult for O'Mara to get answers to administrative questions from a chief investigative agent and had refused to forward them other information on Martin and a witness.
Judge Debra Nelson noted the defense's lead attorney had been in the case nearly a year and says the problems he's having getting evidence are not insurmountable.
His attorneys first made the request after Zimmerman was charged last month with shooting Martin to death.
At the time, O'Mara also renewed his request for donations to George Zimmerman's legal defense, which he said could cost up to $1 million.
"The state has virtually unlimited resources to prosecute George," O'Mara said on Zimmerman's defense fund website. "To finance his defense, however, George relies on the generosity of individuals who believe he is innocent."
Zimmerman's defense fund has raised more than $314,000 since he was charged. Of that amount, $95,000 was spent on bail, almost $62,000 was spent on Zimmerman's living expenses during the past eight months and $56,100 was spent on security. The pricey living expenses were the result of Zimmerman having to stay at extended-stay hotels until he could find a place to rent after his bail conditions were changed to restrict him to Seminole County, Fla., according to the statement on the website said.
Zimmerman is claiming he acted in self-defense in shooting Martin last year and has pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder.
A hearing is scheduled for April and will be at least 45 days before the trial.
Based on reporting by the Associated Press.