SEMINOLE COUNTY, Fla. - The attorney for George Zimmerman filed a motion on Monday trying to get the judge in the second-degree murder case removed.
Prosecutors said Zimmerman fatally shot 17-year-old Trayvon Martin in the chest during a confrontation on Feb. 26. However, Zimmerman has said he shot Martin in self-defense. He has since pleaded not guilty.
Zimmerman’s attorney, Mark O’Mara, visited him in jail on Monday and said his client is anxious to bond out.
“He’s saddened by having to be there, but he's OK,” O’Mara said. “He's resting. He's doing OK. He really is.”
The motion to remove Seminole County Judge Jessica Recksiedler stems from a potential conflict of interest.
"Mr. Zimmerman had contacted (attorney) Mark NeJame to represent him prior to you, Mr. O'Mara. As I have disclosed previously, my husband works with Mark NeJame," Recksiedler said during a status hearing last week.
O'Mara told WFTV that he does believe Recksiedler would give Zimmerman a fair trial, but under the circumstance, he is not taking any chances.
"With a case that is going to be so highly scrutinized, I just think we need to address, resolve that issue now," he said.
NeJame, who is now an analyst for CNN on the Martin case, was originally approached by Zimmerman to represent him. But NeJame turned Zimmerman down and referred him to O'Mara instead.
Recksiedler, who has only been a judge nine months, was chosen at random to oversee the trial, according to court officials.
But it does not sound like she has plans to recuse herself from the case.
O'Mara said he filed the motion so that a new judge can be put in place before Friday.
A bond hearing is scheduled on Friday to determine if Zimmerman stays behind bars or if he's released.
O'Mara said Zimmerman isn't a flight risk because the 28-year-old turned himself in last week right before they charged him with second-degree murder.
"He's evidenced his willingness to stay involved in the process. I think that works to his credit," said O'Mara.
In the meantime, the judge has sealed all documents in the case. The defense said it doesn't want case documents to go public because of the reactions they might set off.
“There's been so much animosity built up in this case so far that people who get that information may want to act on it prematurely,” said O’Mara.
Zimmerman's arraignment is scheduled for May 29.
WFTV will be in the courtroom and will update this story as it develops.
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