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article imageJudge denies several defense motions in Zimmerman murder trial

By Eric Morales     May 28, 2013 in Crime
Sanford - The judge in the Trayvon Martin second-degree murder trial has denied a motion to delay the trial, as well as making several key rulings that could impact the verdict.
In a two hour hearing at the Seminole County courthouse Judge Debra S. Nelson denied a defense motion to delay the trial of George Zimmerman, accused of murdering 17-year-old Trayvon Martin, in a test of Florida's stand your ground laws, Zimmerman's defense of the charges is that he shot the teen in self defense.
Key rulings may make Defense's job difficult
Judge Nelson ruled that defense attorneys representing Zimmerman may not bring up past marijuana use by the Miami Gardens teen. Also the defense will not be able to mention Trayvon Martin's suspensions from school for fighting, or that in the teens autopsy the active ingredient in marijuana was found in his system.
The defense is arguing that marijuana use by Martin may have contributed to the shooting according to CBS News.
"We have a lot of evidence that marijuana use had something to do with the event," O'Mara said. "It could have affected his behavior."
The ruling comes just days after the defense team published photos and text messages online from Trayvon Martins phone. According to the Los Angeles Times the text messages from Trayvon Martin made mention of fights, smoking marijuana and recently being ordered to move out of his mother's Miami Gardens home, where he lived with his brother.
Trayvon Martin was visiting his father's fiancee at the time of his death in Sanford, Florida.
Denying a motion by the defense Judge Debra Nelson also ruled that the jury, which will have to determine whether or not George Zimmerman is guilty of second-degree murder, will not be sequestered. Nelson went on to deny a motion by state prosecutors that all attorneys involved in the case be placed under a gag order.
Reich: Trayvon Martin trembling says "I'm begging you" before being shot
An issue that Judge Debra S. Nelson will still have to decide is whether or not the prosecution can call audio expert Alan Reich, who makes assertions that could cripple George Zimmerman defense that he shot the 17-year-old Trayvon Martin because his life was in peril.
The audio expert Alan Reich claims that he as cleaned up the audio of the 9-1-1 call made the night of Trayvon Martin's death. Reich claims that Trayvon Martin can be heard yelling in a trembling voice "I'm begging you," before George Zimmerman fatally shoots him.
The defense's own expert contends the voice is actually George Zimmerman's.
In a four page report Alan Reich also says that George Zimmerman is talking like an evangelist or carnival barker and early on in the tape said, "These shall be."
Judge Nelson announced that a crucial hearing will be held next Thursday to determine if Reich can testify.
Zimmerman's wife can also be compelled to testify at a deposition Judge Nelson ruled, but she will be able to enact her 5th Amendment right to not answer any questions which may incriminate her.
Shellie Zimmerman is charged with perjury for allegedly lying about the couples finances in a bond hearing for her husband.
Both sides in the case will square off again this Friday on the issue of whether or not the jury should be anonymous. The trial of George Zimmerman is scheduled to begin on June 10th. Zimmerman faces a maximum sentence of life in prison if convicted.
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