A pre-trial hearing for George Zimmerman resumed on Tuesday less than a week after his attorneys released incriminating text messages and pictures that were in the cellphone of his murder victim, Trayvon Martin.
Zimmerman's defense lawyers stated in court that prosecutors failed to turn in the text messages and photos as evidence. The items were to be used in their bid to portray a negative perception of Martin ahead of the jury selection scheduled to begin on June 10. The defense said that failure to submit Martin's personal property is in violation of Florida's law regarding discovery and impose sanctions, according to HLNTV.
Judge Debra Nelson scheduled additional hearings for June 6 and June 7. The hearing will also address if the technology used to analyze the 911 calls - audio of Martin heard yelling and then shot with a single bullet- is admissible. There will be several more issues addressed in future hearings before the jury selection process begins.
Zimmerman's attorneys requested a pre-trial hearing to decide if Martin's toxicology report can be admissible in the trial. The report revealed that Martin had THC- the active drug in marijuana - in his system the day he died. The lawyers contend that the victim may have been impaired the night he died.
Benjamin Crump, the attorney for the Martin family, told HLNTV that Martin's texts are "completely irrelevant" and the release of the texts is just another attempt to discredit his character.
There will be another scheduled for May 31 to discuss if media news outlets can photograph the jurors when they are selected after June 10.
Zimmerman has been in and out of court since killing Martin on February 26, 2012 in Sanford, Fla. He shot the 16-year-old once in the chest in an act he claimed was in self-defense. The unarmed teen was hearing a hooded sweatshirt and had left a grocery store buying Skittles and a bottle iced tea when he was killed. Zimmerman was charged with second-degree murder 44 days after the tragic incident.
The incident sparked a national outcry with protest rallies held around the country within a week of the crime because Zimmerman was immediately freed from jail based on his claims of self-defense. The city's police chief resigned and the governor hired a special prosecutor to the case.