Thursday, May 24, 2018

Zimmerman lawyer pursuing traditional self-defense

ORLANDO — The attorney for the former neighborhood watch volunteer who shot and killed Florida teenager Trayvon Martin said Monday that he believes that the facts that will be argued in the case fall more under traditional self-defense.

Mark O'Mara, who is defending George Zimmerman against a second-degree murder charge in the fatal February shooting, said looking at the case through traditional self-defense circumstances is appropriate because the facts suggest his client couldn't retreat from a beating he was receiving from Martin.

Zimmerman's attorneys said last week that they would use Florida's "stand your ground" law, which allows people to use deadly force — rather than retreat — if they believe their lives are in danger.

"The facts don't seem to support a 'stand your ground' defense," O'Mara said.

Still, he said Monday that the defense team will try to get the case dismissed during a "stand your ground" hearing.

"My concern with even calling it a 'stand your ground' hearing is we need to be more realistic," O'Mara said. "I've said from Day 1 we need to wait until all the evidence comes out."

University of Miami law professor Tamara Lave said O'Mara's shift may signal that he thinks his case for self-defense is solid even without the special provisions afforded by "stand your ground."

" 'Stand your ground' makes it easier to prevail under self-defense theory than the law that existed beforehand," Lave said. "I think what he's saying is, his case is so strong that he doesn't need 'stand your ground.' "

Zimmerman, 28, was initially granted $150,000 bond and released in April. But the judge revoked that bond in June after prosecutors presented evidence that Zimmerman and his wife misled the court about how much money they had, including $135,000 raised by then from a website for his legal defense. He was later freed on a new $1 million bond.

Meanwhile, Zimmerman and his wife, Shellie, continue to live in an undisclosed location in Seminole County.

Comments
Joe Henderson: With chaos the norm on Interstate 4, back roads are looking more inviting

Joe Henderson: With chaos the norm on Interstate 4, back roads are looking more inviting

In the past couple of months, I have had to travel about 25 miles from the bucolic burg of Brandon to Lakeland several times.I take Interstate 4 because it is the most direct route.I may have to rethink that strategy, though, especially with Memorial...
Updated: 10 minutes ago
Passenger out of jail after street-racing crash that killed mother on Bayshore Boulevard

Passenger out of jail after street-racing crash that killed mother on Bayshore Boulevard

TAMPA — One of the two brothers accused in the street racing death of a 24-year-old Ohio woman was released on bail early Thursday morning while police continue to investigate the crash along Bayshore Boulevard.Tristan Christopher Herrin, 20, a passe...
Updated: 19 minutes ago
Forecasters: Increased likelihood for tropical system to form in gulf, soak Tampa Bay

Forecasters: Increased likelihood for tropical system to form in gulf, soak Tampa Bay

ST. PETERSBURG — The National Hurricane Center has raised the chance that a low pressure system moving up through the Caribbean will become a tropical system as it enters the gulf in the next 3-5 days.Thursday morning, the hurricane center bumped up ...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Dog shooter hosts Adam Putnam fundraiser

Dog shooter hosts Adam Putnam fundraiser

It's no secret that Adam Putnam is a loyal NRA supporter and avid defender of gun rights. But we suspect aligning himself with a donor videotaped shooting two pet huskies multiple times at point blank range could be a bridge too far for most fir...
Updated: 1 hour ago

Report: Airstrikes on Syria pro-government positions kill 12

Syria monitoring group says at least 12 pro-government, foreign fighters killed in airstrikes in country's east
Updated: 1 hour ago
Yankees delayed by plane trouble after Texas loss

Yankees delayed by plane trouble after Texas loss

Travel problems have delayed the New York Yankees from getting home from Texas
Updated: 1 hour ago
Yankees delayed by plane trouble after Texas loss

Yankees delayed by plane trouble after Texas loss

Travel problems have delayed the New York Yankees from getting home from Texas
Updated: 1 hour ago
Taking on the system: 'Dreamers' are getting law degrees

Taking on the system: 'Dreamers' are getting law degrees

'Dreamer' law students discover that after years of schooling, first legal battle may involve ability to practice
Updated: 1 hour ago
Investigators: Russian military missile downed Flight MH17

Investigators: Russian military missile downed Flight MH17

An international team of investigators say that detailed analysis of video images has established that the Buk missile that brought down Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 nearly four years ago came from a Russia-based military unit
Updated: 1 hour ago
Investigators: Russian military missile downed Flight MH17

Investigators: Russian military missile downed Flight MH17

An international team of investigators say that detailed analysis of video images has established that the Buk missile that brought down Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 nearly four years ago came from a Russia-based military unit
Updated: 1 hour ago