Inflammatory Evidence Offered for Zimmerman Trial

     SANFORD, Fla. (CN) – Attorneys for Trayvon Martin’s killer George Zimmerman gave notice Thursday that they intend to use photos of Martin with gold teeth, holding a .40 caliber handgun and using obscene gestures in Zimmerman’s trial.
     Text messages in Martin’s phone show the teenager wrote about fighting, getting kicked out of his mother’s house and smoking marijuana, according to the Orlando Sentinel.
     Prosecutors said the evidence is irrelevant and should be barred. Attorneys for Martin’s family agreed, calling the photos and messages “irrelevant red herrings” and “a desperate and pathetic attempt by the defense to pollute and sway the jury pool.”
     Seminole County Circuit Judge Debra Nelson will hear arguments about relevance at a hearing on Tuesday.
     Zimmerman’s defense attorneys are expected to argue that the evidence is relevant because in his 911 call Zimmerman described Martin as a troublemaker and said he was acting as if he were on drugs.
     Martin had no arrest record but had been suspended from school.
     After the data was released, Assistant State Attorney Bernie de la Rionda asked for a gag order to stop attorneys from discussing the case with the media.
     Zimmerman’s attorneys asked to delay the trial for six weeks because they need more time to review audio evidence. Nelson is expected to hear this issue Tuesday as well.
     Zimmerman, a 29-year-old neighborhood watch volunteer, shot Martin, 17, as he walked to his father’s home in February 2012. Zimmerman claimed he killed the unarmed teenager in self defense.
     The case ignited outrage among civil rights leaders who believed Martin, who is black, was racially profiled by Zimmerman, a white Hispanic. It also raised questions about so-called “stand your ground” laws, such as Florida’s, which allow civilians to use lethal force in some circumstances.
     Six weeks after the killing, amid nationwide headlines, Zimmerman was arrested and charged with second-degree murder.
     The trial is set to begin June 10.

%d bloggers like this: