Zimmerman waives right to pre-trial 'stand your ground' hearing

April 30, 2013 at 3:01 PM
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SANFORD, Fla., April 30 (UPI) -- George Zimmerman, accused in the death of teenager Trayvon Martin, waived his right Tuesday to a "stand your ground" hearing before his trial, officials say.

The issue, one of several considered at the court proceeding, could arise again at the trial, the Orlando Sentinel reported.

Still, the potential legal defense took up much of the court's time.

The state asked Circuit Judge Debra Nelson to demand an answer from Zimmerman about whether he was giving up his right to the "stand your ground" hearing. If he was successful in the hearing, he could be acquitted of killing the unarmed 17-year-old Martin during a neighborhood watch stop last year.

Zimmerman's attorney, Mark O'Mara, intervened in Nelson's attempts to question his client, causing Nelson to call a recess.

Afterward, the judge questioned Zimmerman under oath, and he said he was waiving his right to the hearing.

During Monday's hearing, Nelson ordered prosecutors to release to the defense any cell phone data not already turned over. She also told each side to exchange any "cleaned up" audio of the 911 call that captured screams just before shots were fired.

Zimmerman's trial is scheduled to begin June 10.

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