Judge rules against George Zimmerman in defamation suit



SANFORD, Fla. - A judge ruled Monday against George Zimmerman in a defamation lawsuit he filed against NBC regarding 911 calls made after Trayvon Martin was shot and killed in 2012.

Seminole County Circuit Judge Debra Nelson said in an order made public Monday that Zimmerman had failed to show that the news network acted with malice.

The judge says the malice standard is appropriate because Zimmerman was a public figure.

Earlier this month, Nelson dismissed one of the five broadcasts in question, ruling Zimmerman's attorney waited too long under Florida statute to ask NBC to retract the information from the March 19, 2012, broadcast.

Nearly a year ago, it was in Nelson's courtroom Zimmerman was acquitted of second-degree murder in the shooting death of 17-year-old Martin.

Lawyers claimed in a letter sent in December 2012 that NBC edited Zimmerman's 911 call the night of the shooting to make it sound like the former neighborhood watch volunteer was a racist.

In the call, Zimmerman did not mention Martin's race until a dispatcher asked.

"OK, and this guy, is he white, black or Hispanic?" the dispatcher asked.

"He looks black," Zimmerman replied.

But in a series of reports on NBC in March 2012, the dispatcher's question was edited out, which Zimmerman said made it appear as though he was suspicious of Martin only because the teenager was black.