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Trayvon Martin texts, photos released by defense

Posted By GABRIELLE LEVY, UPI.com   |   May 24, 2013 at 8:05 AM  |  Updated May 24, 2013 at 12:41 PM   |   Comments

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May 24 (UPI) -- Two days after making public a slew of photos showing their client's injuries, George Zimmerman's attorneys have released text messages and photos from Trayvon Martin's cell phone in an attempt to paint a violent and troubled picture of the teen.

In turn, prosecutors renewed a motion for a gag order over concerns the "inordinate amount of media coverage" would make it difficult to find an impartial jury. Previous motions have been denied.

Martin's texts talk about him being a fighter, smoking marijuana and getting kicked ouf of his house by his mom.

The pictures appear to show pot plants and a .40-caliber Smith & Wesson pistol.

The evidence was released as part of the defense's formal notice to prosecution that they intend to use it as part of the trial, which begins June 10, the Orlando Sentinel reported.

For its part, the prosecutors say the information is not relevant and should be barred. Circuit Judge Debra Nelson will decide at a hearing on Tuesday.

The defense's case, and with it, Zimmerman's fate, hinges on its ability to prove that Martin was a threat to Zimmerman's life.

Zimmerman told police he shot Martin because he thought his life was in danger, after Martin broke his nose and knocked him to the ground, and then began hitting his head against the sidewalk.

All of the evidence released to the public by the former neighborhood watchman's attorneys has so far been in this vein, painting the dead teen as a kid who couldn't stay out of trouble.

Martin had no arrest record, but was suspended from school more than once, including once when he received a 10-day suspension after teachers found an empty marijuana baggie in his backpack.

"I was watcn a fight nd a teacher say I hit em," one of hist texts, from October 2011, read.

Another, from Nov. 22, 2011: "got mo hits cause in da 1st round he had me on da ground an I couldn't do ntn."

A statement from Benjamin Crump, the attorney for Martin's family, described the new evidence as "irrelevant red herrings" that were "a desperate and pathetic attempt by the defense to pollute and sway the jury pool."

Zimmerman's attorneys have also filed another request to delay the trial for six more weeks, explaining they need time to hire an audio expert to examine the cries for help on a 911 call recording described by the prosecution as Martin's.

Follow @gabbilevy and @UPI on Twitter.
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