Zimmerman lawyer to withhold information

May 11, 2012 at 7:24 PM
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STANFORD, Fla., May 11 (UPI) -- George Zimmerman's lawyer is seeking to have some information related to his client's Florida trial for the murder of Trayvon Martin withheld from the media.

Defense attorney Mark O'Mara is expected to be provided with evidence in the case Monday, The Miami Herald reported.

O'Mara requested that the judge in the case to seal the case file, but Circuit Judge Kenneth Lester declined to do so. O'Mara then said he would like some of the information in the evidence, such as the names of witnesses, to be blacked out before evidence is made publicly available.

Zimmerman is charged with second degree murder for the February shooting death of Martin, who was unarmed. Zimmerman has pleaded not guilty and claimed he shot Martin in self defense.

"There has been a lot of animosity and emotions caused by incomplete and premature disclosure of information. Because those emotions still run so high, we want to do everything we can to protect the sanctity of the process and the safety of the witnesses," O'Mara said in a statement last month. "No good purpose will be served by a media frenzy directed at witnesses."

By law, evidence in criminal cases must be made public once it is provided to the defense. In Zimmerman's case, lawyers were granted an extension while O'Mara writes a motion to the judge asking for special consideration for issues such as redacting witness names from documents.

"Public release of the of the [evidence] may be delayed as we may be filing a motion to further redact information, and an opportunity to review the discovery is necessary to determine the applicability of that motion. While we understand the frustration of those who want to view the information as soon as possible, we believe that Mr. Zimmerman's right to a fair trial, decided by an impartial, unbiased jury is paramount," O'Mara wrote on his Web site.

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