Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Judge rejects motion for trial delay in Trayvon Martin case

SANFORD — The murder trial for the Florida man charged in the shooting death of teenager Trayvon Martin remains set for a June start after a judge on Tuesday denied a defense request for a postponement.

George Zimmerman's lead attorney, Mark O'Mara, presented a motion to have the trial pushed back to November. He argued that prosecutors had been slow to turn over needed evidence.

State attorney Bernie de la Rionda denied the accusation the prosecution had been dragging its feet and said it was rather a case of the defense using inefficient means to secure the information it wanted. With roughly four months left before the scheduled June 10 trial, Judge Debra Nelson said she felt the defense still has time to work out the outstanding issues.

"I don't see any of your issues to be insurmountable," Nelson said in denying the motion.

Zimmerman, 29, is claiming he acted in self-defense in shooting the 17-year-old last year after the two got into a fight and has pleaded not guilty to a second-degree murder charge.

On what would have been Martin's 18th birthday, a local community group gathered outside the Sanford courthouse to remember him before the hearing. Martin's parents, Tracy Martin and Sybrina Fulton, did not attend the remembrance or the court proceeding because they were "overcome with emotion," said their family attorney Benjamin Crump.

"As (Trayvon's) brother said, it's hard on mom, because there's nobody to get a cake and ice cream for," Crump said.

Crump said Martin's parents are pleased that the case will progress as scheduled.

"We're focusing on this killing when it should be about remembering this young man's life today," Crump said.

Later in the afternoon he told a crowd at a "Banding Together for Peace" rally in Goldsboro — one of Sanford's historic black communities — that he felt "the spirit of Trayvon Martin was in that courtroom today."

Regarding the denial for a postponement, Nelson specifically noted that both the defense and prosecution said during a status hearing in late October that they could be ready by June. But O'Mara said he never made that agreement about the June date last year and that without the delay and with a dwindling defense fund for Zimmerman, it would be difficult to secure the expert witnesses it wants to properly defend his client

"The only argument is that we need more time," O'Mara told the judge.

Judge rejects motion for trial delay in Trayvon Martin case 02/05/13 [Last modified: Tuesday, February 5, 2013 11:10pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

Copyright: For copyright information, please check with the distributor of this item, Associated Press.
    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Tampa man arrested in fatal motel shooting

    Crime

    TAMPA — A 37-year-old Tampa man was arrested on a manslaughter charge Thursday for the death of Yasmine L. Tyson on Monday night.

     Christopher Lee Carithers, 37, of Tampa, was arrested on a manslaughter charge Thursday  for the shooting death of Yasmine L. Tyson in a hotel Monday night. [Tampa Police Department]
  2. St. Pete's Downtown Looper expands service with $900,000 grant

    Transportation

    By DIVYA KUMAR

    Times Staff Writer

    ST. PETERSBURG ­— The Downtown Looper will expand its route and its hours starting in October 2018 thanks to a $900,000 grant from the Florida Department of Transportation.

  3. Latest sewage crisis fallout: Higher utility bills in St. Pete

    Local Government

    ST. PETERSBURG — For months the cost of the city's sewage crisis has been measured in terms of environmental damage, legal ramifications and political repercussions.

    Now residents are about to get the bill.

    Signs at North Shore Park in St. Petersburg warn people in September 2016 to stay out of the water due to contamination from partially treated sewage during the height of the city's sewage crisis. Now the City Council is considering how much to raise utility rates to pay the $326 million bill to fix St. Petersburg's sewage system. [LARA CERRI   |   Times]
  4. Rays add a bat, too, acquiring Lucas Duda from Mets

    Blogs

    The Rays made another big move today, acquiring 1B/DH Lucas Duda from the Mets.

    Duda, 31, is a lefty slugger who will take over as the Rays primary DH against right-handers, with Corey Dickerson now playing most of the time in the outfield.

    To get Duda, the Rays gave up minor-league RHP Drew Smith, …

    The Rays acquired 1B/DH Lucas Duda from the Mets.
  5. Florida's legal losses up to $19 million and counting since 2011

    Blogs

    From Gary Fineout of the Associated Press:

    This is getting expensive.