George Zimmerman’s attorneys will ask a judge to allow them to subpoena Trayvon Martin’s school and social-media records at a hearing next week.
Zimmerman’s defense has asked for subpoenas for records from the teenager’s middle and high schools, as well as his Twitter and Facebook accounts. A hearing has been set for Oct. 19.
Zimmerman, 29, fatally shot the Miami Gardens 17-year-old Feb. 26 in Sanford. Authorities allege he profiled and pursued the teen.
Zimmerman says he fired in self-defense after Trayvon attacked him. Zimmerman’s defense is also asking for a continuance. In a motion, the defense team writes that “at least 50-75” witness depositions must be completed in the case before it will be ready for trial.
The defense team also submitted its response to a filing by the state, which referred to the requests for Trayvon’s school records as a “fishing expedition.”
Benjamin Crump, an attorney for Trayvon’s family, said late Monday that the school records and Facebook page are irrelevant to the killing.
In one of several new filings, defense attorney Mark O’Mara writes that the requests are part of a “well thought out plan to focus on potentially relevant and admissible information.”
O’Mara also noted that the state has gathered Zimmerman’s high-school records from Manassas, Va. “Yet, when the same exact documents are requested regarding Trayvon Martin, the State denigrates the request as a fishing expedition,” O’Mara writes. “The irony is rich.”
In a third new motion, O’Mara asked to be allowed to review the court’s copy of a recorded law-enforcement interview of a woman identified as “Witness 9.” That witness, in two interviews made public as his own cousin, accused Zimmerman of disliking Black people and of molesting her when they were both young.
O’Mara writes in his motion that the state failed several times to provide him with a working copy of a third Witness 9 interview, and he wants to know whether Circuit Judge Kenneth Lester Jr. received a bad copy, too. Zimmerman “requests the opportunity to review, with the court, the recordings … to ascertain whether or not the Court received an accurate recording as finally disclosed by the State … or if the Court received an inaccurate or inaudible recording, as the defense has received up until” the latest evidence exchange on Sept. 19.
The motions will be heard by Circuit Judge Debra Nelson, who recently took over the case. Lester was forced to recuse himself after he wrote in an order that Zimmerman had showed “blatant disregard for the judicial system.”
By; Jeff Weiner