Citing bias and a “morally indignant tone,” George Zimmerman’s defense attorney has asked the judge on the case to disqualify himself.
The judge has shown bias and made disparaging remarks about Zimmerman, attorney Mark O’Mara said in a motion Friday, adding his client “no longer has faith” that he can get a fair trial in his court.
Seminole County Circuit Judge Kenneth R. Lester issued a scathing ruling last week when he set bond for Zimmerman at $1 million. The judge suggested Zimmerman was guilty of other crimes when he misled the court about money he had raised online and said that it appeared as if Zimmerman had been getting ready to run. O’Mara said the judge came to unsupported conclusions and ignored anything that went in Zimmerman’s favor, such as that he turned the money over to his attorney and suffered injuries at the hands of Miami Gardens teenager Trayvon Martin.
“This court has already formed a negative opinion of Mr. Zimmerman that Mr. Zimmerman fears would carry over,” to a self defense immunity hearing in the future, O’Mara wrote.
Prosecutors said they object to O’Mara’s motion, and will do so in writing on Monday. The decision will ultimately be made by the judge himself.
It’s the second time O’Mara asks for a judge to be disqualified. The first judge withdrew when O’Mara accused her of having a conflict of interest.
In separate court action, Lester on Friday ordered the release of a statement of a person known as “witness 9,” who made serious allegations against Zimmerman unrelated to the killing. The defense has attempted to keep witness 9’s statement from being made public, because she made statements that are damaging to Zimmerman and could hurt his chance at getting a fair trial.The judge also ordered the release of all the recorded jailhouse calls that prosecutors turned over as evidence in the probe about his fundraising.
The newly released evidence is expected on Monday.