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Zimmerman Attorneys Want Judge In Case Removed

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George Zimmerman's booking photo from 6/3/2012.  (Source: Seminole County Corrections)

George Zimmerman’s booking photo from 6/3/2012. (Source: Seminole County Corrections)

Trayvon Martin

MIAMI (CBSMiami) – The second degree murder case of George Zimmerman took another twist Friday afternoon when Zimmerman’s defense team filed a motion to disqualify circuit court Judge Kenneth Lester from the case.

Zimmerman’s defense attorneys said about Judge Lester’s order granting $1 million bail, “the Court makes gratuitous, disparaging remarks about Mr. Zimmerman’s character; advocates for Mr. Zimmerman to be prosecuted for additional crimes; offers a personal opinion about the evidence for said prosecution; and continues to hold over Mr. Zimmerman’s head the threat of future contempt proceedings.”

Defense attorneys said because of that, “the Court has created a reasonable fear in Mr. Zimmerman that this court is biased against him and because of this prejudice he cannot receive a fair and impartial trial or hearing by this court.”

Judge Lester is the second judge to be in charge of the Zimmerman case, after a previous judge was disqualified for a potential conflict of interest with attorneys.

In discussing the reasoning for the move, defense attorneys targeted excerpts from the July 5th bond ruling including: “Under any definition, the Defendant has flouted the system;” The defendant has tried to manipulate the system when he has been presented the opportunity to do so;” and others.

Friday’s motion was submitted by defense attorneys Mark O’Mara and Donald R. West.

UPDATE: The State Attorney’s Office said a little after 5:35 p.m. that it objects to the defendant trying to disqualify Judge Lester and will file a formal response to the motion early next week.

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