Circuit Judge Jessica Recksiedler, the woman residing over the Trayvon Martin case, has officially disqualified herself from the shooting case today, citing conflict of interest.
Kenneth R. Lester Jr. has been named the new judge presiding over the case.
On Monday, Defense attorney Mark O'Mara filed paperwork asking her to step down because her husband is a partner of attorney Mark NeJame, who is under contract with CNN to provide analysis of this case and who was also contacted by Zimmerman to represent him before he called O’Mara.
Recksiedler signed an order taking herself off the case.
According to the Orlando Sentinel, Recksiedler’s replacement Lester has 15 years experience and has presided over high profile cases in the past:
Kenneth R. Lester Jr.
Lester, 58, is a veteran of high-profile cases. In 2003 he presided at the trial of Reynolds, a day laborer found guilty of flying into a rage over a dispute about a used trailer frame and savagely killing a Geneva couple and their 11-year-old daughter.
In another case, Lester sentenced ax murderer John Michael Buzia to death for attacking a 71-year-old Oviedo man who had hired him as a handyman.
And Lester eased into the outside world a schizophrenic Oviedo woman, Stephanie Gardner, who had been locked in a state mental hospital for a decade after being found not guilty by reason of insanity in the shooting deaths of her mother and father.
Lester ordered her released to a Jacksonville group home in 2001.
Zimmerman is currently being held in the Seminole County Jail, charged with second-degree murder.
Special Prosecutor Angela Corey, the state attorney in Jacksonville, had him arrested last week on a charge of second-degree murder, and Recksiedler was assigned the case.
SOURCE: Orlando Sentinel