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Judge denies delay for George Zimmerman

Feb. 14, 2013 at 6:50 PM
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SANFORD, Fla., Feb. 14 (UPI) -- The Florida judge in George Zimmerman's "stand your ground" trial Thursday denied a request for a delay and ruled a hearing will begin April 22.

Circuit Judge Debra S. Nelson ordered 500 potential jurors for the second-degree murder trial, which is set to begin in June, the Orlando Sentinel reported.

Zimmerman says he shot Trayvon Martin, an unarmed black teenager, Feb. 26, 2012, because he was in fear of his life. Zimmerman's attorneys earlier said an attorney for Martin's family should give a deposition about his interview with an important witness in the case.

Benjamin Crump last month interviewed a teenage Miami girl who had been talking to Martin on the phone just before Martin was shot. He also obtained a recording of the call, but he said in an affidavit the quality of the recording was poor because he talked to the girl on speakerphone.

Martin, who was 17 when he was killed, was returning to a friend's house in a gated community in Sanford, Fla., when Zimmerman, a neighborhood watch volunteer, spotted him and began following him.

Zimmerman was charged April 12, with police explaining their initial hesitation to bring charges by saying initially believed Zimmerman was protected by Florida's "Stand Your Ground" law, which authorizes the use deadly force by people who are threatened with violence.

Nelson declined a motion this month to delay Zimmerman's trial.

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