The case against the man
charged with murdering Trayvon Martin is getting more complicated as
prosecutors have asked for a full inquiry into whether George Zimmerman
will waive his right to a self-defense hearing and defense lawyers have
requested state prosecutors be sanctioned.
Both parties have filed a number of motions ahead of a hearing Tuesday morning before Circuit Judge Debra Nelson in Orlando.
a neighborhood watch volunteer, is facing a second-degree murder charge
in the Feb. 26, 2012, shooting of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin in a gated
Sanford, Fla., community. Trayvon's family argues the young man was
profiled, pursued and murdered. Zimmerman says he shot Trayvon in
self-defense after being attacked.
Partly at the center of
contention between the legal sides is a motion by Zimmerman's lawyers to
make state prosecutors pay $4,555 in attorney's fees. State prosecutors
delayed depositions by five hours in March because they objected to
them being videotaped, said Mark O'Mara, Zimmerman's lawyer. The court
later ruled that the witnesses -- including a friend of Trayvon who
claims she was on the phone with him the night of the shooting -- could
be videotaped, he said.
Assistant State Attorney Bernie de la
Rionda maintains that no violations occurred and that his office is not
liable for any attorney or videographer fees. O'Mara now claims that the
wording of de la Rionda's motion included false statements and
misrepresentations and should be grounds for sanctioning him.
the March 28 motion, de la Rionda wrote O'Mara was "grandstanding" and
"courts anything resembling a microphone or camera." He also added that
O'Mara has made misrepresentations to the court, falsely asserted that
Zimmerman was indigent, and has attacked several people including the
family of Trayvon Martin, the family's attorney, and members of the news
In a motion filed Friday, O'Mara accused de la Rionda of
attacking him personally with unfounded "egregious" statements. He asked
for sanctions and disciplinary proceedings.
Tuesday's hearing brings with it a number of other issues:
De la Rionda wants a "full inquiry" into whether Zimmerman will be
waiving his right to an immunity hearing, which would allow him to claim
self-defense before a judge without a jury.
• O'Mara has asked
the judge to unseal a wrongful-death settlement which could have paid $1
million or more to Trayvon's parents. Benjamin Crump, an attorney for
Trayvon Martin's parents, has filed a motion to keep the settlement
• Zimmerman's defense also wants to obtain any and all
data regarding downloads from any phone or phone number connected to
Trayvon Martin, George Zimmerman and his wife, Shellie Zimmerman. The
team also wants any information that the state's attorney's office or
law enforcement has received or investigation concerns regarding Trayvon
• Zimmerman's lawyer also wants "any and all
cleaned up, edited and/or enhanced version(s) of any and all recorded
911 called by Tracy Martin as reference by Benjamin Crump."
in a Friday redacted motion, O'Mara also asked to add witnesses to the
case but does not reveal publicly their names or what type of
information they might provide.
Zimmerman's trial is scheduled to begin June 10th.