SANFORD, Fla. - A Florida judge has denied defense requests to end 24-hour GPS monitoring of George Zimmerman while he is out on bond in the fatal shooting of Florida teenager Trayvon Martin.
Judge Debra Nelson denied bond requests from Zimmerman's defense team Tuesday. Besides dropping the monitoring, the defense wanted the former neighborhood watch volunteer to be able to live outside Seminole County.
Zimmerman was in court for the hearing, wearing a bulletproof vest as he sat next to his legal team.
His attorney, Mark O’Mara, argued Zimmerman should no longer be confined to Seminole County and instead be allowed to travel around the state.
Zimmerman is charged with second-degree murder in 17-year-old Martin's shooting. He has pleaded not guilty, claiming self-defense under Florida's stand your ground law.
O'Mara argued that a picture showing Zimmerman with a bloodied face is proof his client shot Martin in self-defense.
O’Mara said restricting Zimmerman to Seminole County prevents Zimmerman from assisting with interviewing witnesses who live outside of the area.
O’Mara also spent time arguing that it's simply too dangerous to keep Zimmerman confined to one area because of ongoing threats on his life.
“This is a high-profile case,” O’Mara said. “Mr. Zimmerman is living in hiding, you are aware of that. (I’m) not going to belabor the point … his need to live in disguise, the fact that he's been limited to Seminole County makes that much more dangerous.”
Lead prosecutor Bernie de la Rionda told the judge that Zimmerman is the same man who appeared on national television, and recently offered up autographs to anyone who donated to his legal fund.
“You can't have it where you want all of this publicity and then argue that it's unsafe for him there,” the prosecutor said. “Who's generating all of this publicity? Why are we here for this motion? Is it for publicity? Maybe it's for autographs? Maybe he wants to travel to west Forida so he's got some people who can pay him more money to get his autograph.”
Nelson said she read the motion before Tuesday morning's hearing, and without hesitation, even after hearing arguments from Zimmerman's attorney, she denied the request for more freedom.
In the meantime, the judge did say the defense can go after any evidence they think the FBI may have related to its investigation of the shooting death of Martin.
The state also has to turn over an original copy of an interview done with a girl known as “Witness 8," who is the person who said she was on the phone with Martin as he was being followed by Zimmerman the night he was killed.
Nelson has set a trial date for June 10. She also set a stand your ground hearing 45 days before trial, where Zimmerman can argue it was self-defense and ask the judge to drop the charges.
Latest Zimmerman documents posted on GZlegalcase.com:
- Notice of Hearing
- Zimmerman's Motion to Take Additional Deposition
- Defendant's Motion to Compel Production of Evidence from Third-Party
- Defendant's Motion to Compel Additional Discovery
- Defendant's Motion to Compel Regarding Voice Identification
- Defendant's Motion to Modify Conditions of Release
- Defendant's Motion for Clarification of Order Setting Bail
- Defendant's Amended Demand for Specific Discovery from Federal Bureau of Investigation
- Defendant's Amended Demand for Specific Discovery from Department of Justice Community Relations Services