Lawyers for George Zimmerman on Tuesday canceled an expected hearing to try to have his murder charge dismissed under Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” self-defense law — all but ensuring that Zimmerman will go to trial in June for the shooting death of Miami Gardens teenager Trayvon Martin.
Zimmerman, the neighborhood watch volunteer who shot 17-year-old Trayvon during a struggle last year in a gated community in Sanford, near Orlando, was expected to rely on the Stand Your Ground law in an effort to have the murder case tossed out by a judge without a jury trial. Under the controversial law, a person is immune from prosecution for using deadly force if the person reasonably believes he or she is in danger.
But Tuesday, defense lawyer Mark O’Mara told Seminole County Circuit Judge Debra Nelson that he would not seek a two-week pre-trial hearing on the Stand Your Ground issue in April, as originally anticipated.
Shawn Vincent, a spokesman for Zimmerman’s defense team, emphasized that the lawyers have not waived Zimmerman’s right to seek immunity, and might invoke Stand Your Ground during his trial, which is scheduled to begin June 10.