(SANFORD, Fla.) — Lawyers for George Zimmerman will not be permitted to mention pictures of drugs and guns found on Trayvon Martin’s cell phone during opening statements in Zimmerman’s trial for murder next month, a judge ruled Tuesday.
At a hearing Tuesday in Sanford, Fla., Circuit Judge Debra Nelson set some of the rules for what will be a closely watched trial scheduled to begin on June 10. Among a barrage of rulings by the judge Tuesday was a rejection of a request by Zimmerman’s legal team to delay the trial.
Zimmerman, 29, is the neighborhood watch captain who is accused of fatally shooting Martin, 17, last February. He is charged with second degree murder and has pleaded not guilty.
Zimmerman’s lawyer argued that Martin’s marijuana use and history of fighting was central to proving that Zimmerman acted in self-defense.
“We have a lot of evidence that marijuana use had something to do with the event,” Zimmerman’s lawyer Mark O’Mara said. “It could have affected his behavior.”
Nelson said that evidence would not be permitted in opening statements, but left open the possibility it could eventually be submitted during the trial.
O’Mara also requested that all potential jurors, as many as 500 of them, be sequestered in hotels until a panel was selected for the trial.
Scott Ponce, a lawyer representing media covering the trial, called the request a “sequestered jury on steroids” and asked the judge to permit the media to cover jury selection in open court.
Nelson denied the request to sequester the entire panel of potential jurors, but has yet to rule on whether the actual jury will be sequestered.
O’Mara also asked that the entire jury be taken to the crime scene in a bus with “blacked out windows.”
The defense objected to the motion, arguing that there was no way to recreate the exact lighting and weather conditions at the scene of the crime.
Nelson rejected that motion as well.
Another hearing to determine which scientific evidence, including information about the texts and photos found on Martin’s phone, will be admissible is scheduled for June 6. The trial is scheduled to begin June 10.
Unfortunately your browser does not support IFrames.
Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio
Recent posts in National News