NBC asks judge to delay Zimmerman suit

Feb. 27, 2013 at 5:52 PM

SANFORD, Fla., Feb. 27 (UPI) -- Lawyers for NBC claim George Zimmerman, charged with killing an unarmed teenager in Florida, has "no legitimate claim" to a defamation allegation.

Zimmerman sued the network for defamation. He charges that NBC edited a tape of his conversation with a 911 dispatcher to make him appear racist and falsely reported he used a racial slur.

In court papers filed Tuesday, NBC's lawyers asked Seminole County Circuit Judge Debra Nelson, who is presiding over Zimmerman's criminal case and his lawsuit against NBC, to postpone the lawsuit until legal proceedings against Zimmerman have concluded, the Orlando Sentinel reported. Zimmerman has been charged with the second-degree murder of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin.

"While there is no legitimate basis for Zimmerman's claims against these defendants, who fairly and accurately reported about a news event that has captivated the nation, now is simply not the time to litigate them," Gregg D. Thomas, a Tampa lawyer representing NBC, said.

In his 911 call, Zimmerman described Martin as black after a dispatcher asked Zimmerman about Martin's race. In the edited version, Zimmerman appears to bring up the information without prompting.

The lawsuit also names NBC's Miami affiliate, WTVJ, as a defendant.

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