A Florida judge turned down his request to delay his June trial date for the murder of unarmed, black teenager Trayvon Martin, whom he shot and killed a year ago this month.
“I don’t see any of your issues as insurmountable,” Seminole County Circuit Court Judge Debra Nelson said in denying a motion by Zimmerman’s lawyer, Mark O’Mara, for a continuance in the racially charged trial.
A memorial service for Martin, who would have turned 18 on Tuesday, was held on the courthouse lawn before the hearing got under way, reports Reuters.
Before ruling, Nelson noted she had set aside several full days of court time for Zimmerman’s defense attorneys and prosecutors to bring issues before the court, but most of that time had gone unused.
She also said O’Mara had been working on Zimmerman’s defense since April 2012 and still has another four months to prepare for the June 10 trial.
O’Mara had told reporters he needed at least another six months to raise money and lay the groundwork for the trial. Zimmerman could face up to 25 years to life in prison if convicted of second-degree murder.
Zimmerman, who is out on a $1 million bond, is living in hiding in central Florida pending his trial. At the time of the shooting, he was a neighborhood crime watch volunteer in a gated community where Martin was staying with his father.
Read/learn more at Reuters.