ORLANDO, Fla. (AP/WAOK) — A Florida judge is denying prosecutors’ request for a gag order in the trial of a neighborhood watch leader charged with fatally shooting 17-year-old Trayvon Martin.
Circuit Judge Debra Nelson said in an order Monday that there was no need for a gag order at this time to ensure a fair trial for George Zimmerman.
The 29-year-old Zimmerman is charged with second-degree murder in the fatal shooting last February.
Zimmerman has pleaded not guilty and claims the shooting was self-defense under the state’s “stand your ground” law. Zimmerman and Martin got into an altercation inside a gated community in Sanford, Fla.
Prosecutors had asked for the gag order, claiming a website and social media used by Zimmerman’s attorney could influence potential jurors in the racially charged case. Attorney Mark O’Mara claimed to have made the social media sites as a way to “counter the volumes of negative publicity that surrounded Mr. Zimmerman” by the public portraying Zimmerman as a racist.
Zimmerman’s trial is set to begin June 2013.
Submitted by: Brent Yancy, Student Writer