It appears George Zimmerman’s attorneys may not be using the “Stand Your Ground” law in his defense after all in his trial for the 2012 shooting death of unarmed teenager Trayvon Martin.
His legal team decided yesterday to skip an immunity hearing where the “Stand Your Ground” defense would be heard that was slated for April.
The defense argues it’s because they don’t have time to prepare for the “Stand Your Ground” hearing and the trial.
“We don’t have time … to spend two weeks or so” on an immunity hearing, O’Mara said outside a Sanford court Tuesday morning. “Our focus is to get [Zimmerman] to a jury and get acquitted.”
Zimmerman has been charged with second-degree murder, but under Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” law, he is entitled to immunity if he can prove he shot and killed Martin Feb. 26, 2012 in self defense. If self defense were determined, all criminal proceedings would have to stop, and Zimmerman would walk free.
Zimmerman, a neighborhood watch captain, says he shot the 17-year-old in self-defense after he saw the young man acting suspiciously in his neighborhood in Sanford, Florida. An April 22 hearing was expected to determine whether Florida’s self-defense laws shielded him from prosecution.
But Zimmerman attorney Mark O’Mara told a judge Tuesday that he didn’t need time in April for pretrial motions. He told reporters that he could still file a motion for immunity when the trial begins June 10, or later if a civil case arises.
Zimmerman’s defense appeared to question the credibility of a teenage girl, identified only as Witness 8, who claims she was on the phone with Martin just moments before he was shot.
Witness 8 told authorities that Martin told her that he was scared of a strange man following him. She also said that that after hearing the shooting over Martin’s phone, she was hospitalized for trauma, but she admitted later to prosecutors that she had not.