As judge in Trayvon Martin case steps down, another controversy unfolds
Protesters upset over fire captain’s incendiary remarks
Florida Circuit Judge Jessica Recksiedler who was set to preside over the Trayvon Martin shooting case has removed herself from the case after the attorney for defendant George Zimmerman argued she had a possible conflict of interest.
Judge Kenneth M. Lester Jr. will now preside over the case.
Recksiedler’s husband works with Orlando attorney Mark NeJame, who was first approached by Zimmerman’s family to represent the neighborhood watch volunteer. NeJame declined and referred them to Mark O’Mara, who is now representing Zimmerman.
O’Mara said he requested that Recksiedler step down now because the case is just beginning and he wanted any possible conflict to be addressed right away rather than in the middle of the case. Recksiedler was assigned the case after Zimmerman’s arrest last week.
Zimmerman is charged with second-degree murder for the Feb. 26 shooting of the 17-year-old Martin. Zimmerman said he shot Martin in self-defense after the teen attacked him. Martin was unarmed.
Martin’s family and supporters claim Zimmerman was the aggressor.
The switch in judges isn’t expected to change Friday’s bail hearing during which Zimmerman will ask to be released on bond.
In another South Florida dispute with racial overtones, civil rights leaders protested Wednesday demanding discipline for a Miami-Dade Fire Rescue captain whose comments concerning the Trayvon Martin case on his personal Facebook page have become the center of a major controversy.
Brian Beckmann asked on his Facebook page “whether our urban youths are victims of racist profiling or products of their failed, (expletive), ignorant, pathetic, welfare dependent excuses for parents, but like Mrs. Corey, we speak only the truth. They're just misunderstood little church going angels and the ghetto hoodie look doesn't have anything to do with why people wonder if they're about to get jacked by a thug.”
The parents of Trayvon Martin have settled a wrongful death claim against the homeowners association of the Florida neighborhood where the teenager was fatally shot, the Orlando Sentinel reported Friday.
The report of the settlement comes more than 13 months after neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman shot Martin in Zimmerman’s neighborhood in Sanford, Florida.
The state’s chief witness in the Trayvon Martin murder case lied under oath, prosecutors say.
The young woman who says she was on the phone with Martin when he encountered George Zimmerman lied about her whereabouts at another time, the prosecution told a judge Tuesday.
The woman, whose name has not been released, had told prosecutors that she was in the hospital on the day of Martin’s funeral. The defense then sought her medical records.
Trayvon Martin’s family marked the anniversary of his death with a candlelight vigil in Manhattan.
Martin’s parents, Sybrina Fulton and Tracy Martin, were joined by actor Jamie Foxx and a crowd of about 200 people on Tuesday evening in Manhattan’s Union Square Park. They lit candles and held a moment of silence at 7:17 p.m., the time Martin was fatally shot on Feb. 26, 2012.
ORLANDO, Fla.—"Murderer," one e-mail's subject line said.
"Please shoot yourself, you racist piece of sh-t," read the body of another e-mail. "You killed an unarmed teen that you stalked."
And several dictated the same, succinct line: "Hope you die in prison."
These venom-drenched words are just a smattering of at least 400 e-mails and letters, all sent to George Zimmerman over the past 10 months.
Feb. 26 will mark one year since then-17-year-old Travyon Martin was gunned down by George Zimmerman, a neighborhood watch coordinator in a gated community of Sanford, Fla.
Martin was visiting family in the area and was walking back from the store when, despite requests by local police not to do so, Zimmerman began following Martin because he appeared “suspicious.”
The two ended up in a physical confrontation, and the unarmed Martin was shot in the chest and killed.