Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Trayvon Martin family wants prosecutor investigated

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ORLANDO — Trayvon Martin's parents asked federal officials Monday to expand their investigation to look at the prosecutor who recused himself in the case.

They claim in a letter to the Department of Justice that State Attorney Norm Wolfinger met with the Sanford police chief within hours of the teen's death and that together they overruled a detective's recommendation that the man who shot the teen, George Zimmerman, be charged with manslaughter. The letter says a lead investigator filed an affidavit stating that he didn't find Zimmerman's story credible.

The prosecutor, Norm Wolfinger, called the allegations "lies" and said no meeting took place.

"I'm outraged by the outright lies contained in the letter," Wolfinger said in a statement. "I encourage the Justice Department to investigate and document that no such meeting or communication occurred."

Wolfinger recused himself from the case two weeks ago and a special prosecutor from Jacksonville is now investigating. Wolfinger said he wanted to avoid the appearance of a conflict of interest and to tamp down the rhetoric in the case.

Martin's parents want to know why Wolfinger's office made the decision not to charge Zimmerman after the shooting Feb. 26. Zimmerman told police he was attacked and fired in self-defense. The Justice Department is already looking into the Sanford Police Department's handling of the case.

Separately, state Sen. Gary Siplin, D-Orlando, asked special prosecutor Angela Corey to pick a grand jury from outside Sanford, if she chooses to convene one. Corey can choose to present the case to a grand jury, file charges without it or not charge Zimmerman.

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