George Zimmermans defense attorney wants 30 days to review sealed evidence before its released to the media, according to a new motion filed Thursday.
Certain discovery, though completely irrelevant, may tend to inflame the passions of those in favor of one position or another in this matter, attorney Mark OMara wrote in a pleading to the court. As an example . . . there are approximately 1,000 emails received by the Sanford Police Department regarding this case.
Zimmerman is charged with second-degree murder in the Feb. 26 killing of Miami Gardens teen Trayvon Martin. The case has received enormous media attention, and the evidence released so far is already being dissected on the blogosphere.
More evidence exists that the state has asked the court to seal, and even more has yet to be released.
OMara said releasing Zimmermans statements to police would be highly prejudicial, and asked Circuit Judge Kenneth Lester to withhold the text messages prosecutors submitted as part of the case materials.
His motion came a day after Assistant State Attorney Bernardo de la Rionda filed a motion late Wednesday asking the judge to seal parts of the evidence.
Among the items the Duval County prosecutor wants kept from the public are the results of a test that police conducted on Zimmerman the day after he killed Trayvon Martin. The results have already been provided to the court under seal, de la Rionda said.
Any testing performed and findings in this case have not gained such reliability and scientific recognition as to warrant its admissibility, he wrote.
De la Rionda did not specify what the test was, but in an interview last week, Zimmermans father told The Miami Herald that his son had passed a voice stress test.
Its like a lie detector, but more reliable, Robert Zimmerman said. I told him, If you are comfortable and have been truthful, go and do it. If at any time you are uncomfortable, just say: Am I free to leave? So he did it.
De la Rionda also wants to seal two CDs of audio interviews with a witness identified as W9. She is the same person who called police anonymously just two days after the killing to say Zimmerman and his family were racists.
In an interview with the prosecutors who handled the case before the Duval County State Attorneys office stepped in, W9 made more allegations, the record shows. The subject matter deals with an allegation made by witness W9 regarding an act committed by Defendant. This material may or may not be relevant or admissible in this case, de la Rionda wrote.
Zimmerman claims he acted in self-defense. In the furor that followed the Sanford Police Departments decision not to arrest him, the case was reassigned to a special prosecutor who charged him with a first-degree felony that can carry a life sentence.
OMara had initially requested the court file be sealed, but the judge did not agree, saying he would rule on evidence on a case-by-case basis. Under Florida law, most of the evidence in a criminal court file is available to the public once its handed over to the defense. Some materials, such as confessions, are exempt from that law.
De la Riondas motion shows he filed a motion under seal available only to the judge and the lawyers on both sides on May 14.
The public motion filed Wednesday asks for the following materials to be sealed:
• Names, addresses and phone numbers of 22 witnesses.
• Crime scene photos and autopsy photos and any others showing Trayvons body.
The 911 call that captured the shooting, which is already widely available on the Internet.
• Zimmermans statements to police.
• Cellphone records.
Prosecutors argue that some of the evidence is not subject to Floridas public-records law.
Publication of certain discovery materials described . . . will result in this mater being tried in the press rather than in the court, de la Rionda wrote.
A hearing to discuss the motions was scheduled for Fri. June 1.