Judge Limits What Attorneys Can Say About Trayvon Martin
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SANFORD (CBSMiami/AP) — Florida Circuit Judge Debra Nelson has limited what defense attorneys for George Zimmerman can say about 17-year-old Trayvon Martin when the self-proclaimed neighborhood watch leader goes on trial next month.
During a Tuesday morning hearing, Judge Nelson ruled Zimmerman’s attorney wouldn’t be able to mention Trayvon Martin’s marijuana use, his suspension from school, and his past fighting during opening statements of the trial.
Judge Nelson also ruled that some of Martin’s texts and other statements on social media would not be allowed into opening statements. However, some of his personal material could be allowed later depending on how the case proceeds.
Nelson also ruled jurors will not be allowed to travel to the crime scene during the trial and that jurors would not be sequestered during the duration of the trial.
Zimmerman is charged is charged with fatally shooting the unarmed 17-year-old Trayvon Martin last year during a confrontation at a gated community in Sanford.
The judge also will consider whether a voice analyzer can be called by prosecutors to determine who was making cries for help on 911 calls.
Experts have reached different conclusions about whether it was Zimmerman or Martin screaming in the background of a 911 call taped just before Martin was shot, or whether it is possible to be certain at all.
Zimmerman’s attorney, Mark O’Mara, told the judge that Martin’s marijuana use and past fighting was central to the argument that Zimmerman used self-defense when he confronted Martin last year at a gated community in Sanford, Fla.
Zimmerman is charged with second-degree murder for the death of Trayvon Martin, 17. He has pleaded not guilty.
Judge Nelson also ruled Tuesday jurors would be referred to by their jury numbers and prohibited their faces from being photographed.
Nelson ruled there would be no further delays in the case and that the trial wills tart on June 10.
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