George Zimmerman Trial Will Go Forward
Right wing folk hero George Zimmerman’s trial will go forward with evidence regarding Trayvon Martin’s pot smoking or past fighting having been rejected by Judge Debra Nelson:
From NBC News:
Defense lawyer Mark O’Mara asked the judge not to pre-emptively exclude the information, saying that it bolstered their theory of the shooting – that the 17-year-old was the aggressor and Zimmerman shot him in self-defense.
“There is certainly enough evidence…that’s going to suggest Trayvon Martin involved himself ongoingly with fighting with other people,” O’Mara said.
He said the defense had obtained video of three fights – two in which Martin acted as a referee and a third in which two friends “were beating up a homeless guy.” The defense also wanted the right to present text messages, like one from November 2011 in which Martin seemed to refer to an organized fight: “He got mo hits cause in da 1st round. He had me on da ground nd I couldn’t do ntn.”
Prosecutors argued that since Zimmerman and Martin didn’t know each other before the shooting, whether the teen had been involved in fights had no bearing on how the defendant reacted that night.
The judge ruled that the evidence about past fights could not be mentioned in opening statements but said it could be admitted during trial if the defense can authenticate it and overcome rules against hearsay evidence.
Outside the Seminole County courthouse, Martin family lawyer Benjamin Crump praised the judge for limiting what the jury hears about guns, drugs or fighting in Martin’s past.
“Trayvon Martin did not have a gun. Trayvon Martin did not get out of the car to chase anybody. Trayvon Martin did not shoot and kill anybody. Trayvon Martin is not on trial,” Crump said.