Potential jurors questioned heavily about social media use in Zimmerman trial



SANFORD, Fla. - Attorneys in the George Zimmerman trial spent Tuesday working to weed out any potential jurors who may have an agenda of their own that could include ideas of book deals following the trial.

Zimmerman has maintained he shot and killed 17-year-old Trayvon Martin in self-defense in February 2012 in Sanford. He has pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder charges in the case.

Both prosecutors and the defense scrutinized 10 more potential jurors on Tuesday, asking them what they know about the case.

The potential jurors were asked about where they get their news and whether they discussed the case on social media.

Channel 9's Kathi Belich learned there's a lot of chatter on Facebook about how to get chosen for the jury.

A young student in her 20s told prosecutors what she knows about Zimmerman and Martin she learned on Facebook and that she ignored the opinions that were posted on the social website.

"Tell me why you had no interest in it," directed defense attorney Mark O'Mara.

"Because it doesn't concern me," said potential juror B55.

But both sides are very concerned about social media's effect on the case. The defense has said in court there are Facebook postings about how to beat the jury selection system to get on the panel.

An Internet news report said blacks in Sanford were talking a lot about getting summonses and some were posting opinions about guilt on Facebook.

"When you first got that summons, did you talk to any of your friends and say, 'Hey, listen, I might be on that jury?'" asked prosecutor Bernie de la Rionda.

"No, I just talked to my wife. That was it," said potential juror B35.

Another local reportedly posted advice for people to keep their mouths shut about their opinions and give themselves a chance to be on the jury.

Lawyers for both sides were asking potential jurors about social media.

"Other than Facebook, do you do any Twitter or any other of that stuff or Myspace or any of that stuff?" asked de la Rionda.

"No," said potential juror B55.

Lawyers questioned 10 potential jurors Tuesday. So far, 41 people have been excused.

The trial is scheduled to resume Wednesday at 9 a.m.