George Zimmerman Appears At Court Hearing (PHOTOS)
UPDATE: 1:45pm EST
Circuit Judge Debra S. Nelson has decided to grant Zimmerman’s request for Trayvon Martin’s school records. Nelson told Mark O’Mara, “I think that you’re entitled to those records.”
Nelson also granted subpoenas for Trayvon’s social media. However Twitter and Facebook can file motions to fight the ruling that Trayvon’s postings will be given to lawyers.
Zimmerman’s team will get access to FB/Twitter accounts for Trayvon’s friend (Witness 8), the girl who was on the phone with Trayvon on the night he was killed.
As for Zimmerman’s medical records, Judge Nelson has granted the State’s request, although they will stay private. O’Mara did argue however that the records could reveal Trayvon’s state of mind in the leadup to the shooting. That, O’Mara said, is crucial to the case and cited the 6th Amendment saying-
“The issue in this case is who did what during those couple of minutes that we don’t know what happened…sounds horrible” to attack the character of the alleged victim in the case, but is necessary for Zimmerman’s defense.
Citing case law, Nelson went on to explain that, though Zimmerman didn’t know anything about Trayvon before the Feb. 26 shooting, the school records could potentially show a history of behavior by Trayvon relevant to Zimmerman’s self-defense claim.
The medical and school records will not be released to the public, the judge said.
In an attempt to sully his name, Circuit Judge Debra S. Nelson must decide whether to order Miami-Dade school officials to turn over Trayvon’s school records to Zimmerman’s attorneys, who want to find out about Trayvon’s history of suspensions, his grades, attendance record and more.
As reported by The Orlando Sentinel:
Assistant State Attorney Bernie de la Rionda says they’re not relevant and has accused defense attorneys of going on a fishing expedition.
Trayvon’s parents have denounced the effort, describing it as an attempt to further victimize their son. They plan to hold a news conference outside the Seminole County courthouse before the hearing to talk about that and to raise funds for a political committee they’ve just created that’s designed to donate money to political candidates who support changes to Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” law.
The judge will also have to decide what to do with Zimmerman’s medical records. Defense attorney Mark O’Mara has already released to the public notes made by a physician’s assistant, who treated Zimmerman the day after the shooting.
She wrote that he suffered a broken nose, cuts to his head and back pain.
De la Rionda is asking for more details, a request that O’Mara says violates his client’s privacy.
What about Trayvon’s privacy, Mr. O’Mara?
De la Rionda wants the judge to see all of those things first and decide, item by item, whether they should be made public. That could involve secret hearings.