AFRICANGLOBE – The legal team for George Zimmerman, the neighbourhood vigilante accused of shooting and killing Trayvon Martin, has received a copy of the 17-year-old’s school records.
“We are entitled to receive the school records because some information in Trayvon Martin’s file could be relevant in the defense of George Zimmerman,” the website for Zimmerman’s legal defense said Wednesday.
The records from Miami-Dade schools have not been made available to the public, but portions could be revealed later, according to Zimmerman’s legal team
“If any detail of the school records should be considered relevant in the course of a Self-Defense Immunity Hearing, only the parts deemed relevant to the case will be entered into evidence,” the website said.
That hearing could happen in April.
Both state prosecutors and Benjamin Crump, an attorney for Trayvon Martin’s parents, objected to releasing the records, stating that they were irrelevant to the case.
According to the lawyers, because George Zimmerman did not know Trayvon Martin before the Feb. 26 shooting, the teen’s past was not a factor in the case.
Circuit Judge Debra S. Nelson on Oct. 19 granted the order to release the records, saying that Mark O’Mara, George Zimmerman’s attorney, was entitled to the information.
Mark O’Mara apologized for the request but said he owed it to his client to look into Trayvon Martins’s past.
The defendant says he acted in self-defense. Prosecutors say he profiled Trayvon Martin, assuming he was about to commit a crime and began following him.
The school records could damage Trayvon Martin’s reputation. Police have said Trayvon was serving a 10-day school suspension at the time of his death after being caught with an empty marijuana baggie.
Crump said in October that releasing the records would be wrong.
George Zimmerman’s legal team pledged it would not “demonize” the teen.
“A number of parties have expressed concern that we will use information found in the school records to “demonize” Trayvon Martin,” the website for George Zimmerman’s legal defense said. “The Zimmerman defense has no intention to demonize Trayvon Martin.”
By; Desiree Stennett