The fight for evidence has begun in a Sanford, FL courtroom, as Circuit Judge Kenneth Lester Jr. may decide today whether the special prosecutor in the George Zimmerman murder case is improperly withholding evidence from the public.
Attorneys for the state and defense and more than a dozen media companies will argue over what evidence the public should see before trial.
Special Prosecutor Angela Corey has insisted in the past that she needs to keep secret several key pieces of evidence, which includes:
Five statements Zimmerman gave authorities
Crime scene photos that show Trayvon’s body
Cell phone records for Zimmerman and Trayvon
Defense attorney Mark O’Mara also wants witness names and other pieces of evidence kept secret.
The companies arguing over the release of evidence include the Orlando Sentinel, The New York Times, CBS News, CNN and NBCUniversal.
Their lawyers will be in court today, urging the judge to force Corey’s office to prove what Florida courts say she – and any prosecutor seeking to withhold pretrial evidence – must if she wants it kept secret. It’s a three-part test:
Prosecutors must show that release of the evidence would cause a “serious and imminent threat” to proceedings.
They must show that sealing the documents is the only way, short of moving the trial to another county, that Zimmerman can get a fair trial.
And they must show that sealing the records would be effective.