Sanford Police chief to resign after criticism over Trayvon Martin investigation

Chief Bill Lee of the Sanford Police Department in Sanford, Florida,
plans to resign, a city official familiar with the matter said Monday.

Lee’s
department was criticized for its handling of the investigation into
the February 26 shooting death of Trayvon Martin, an unarmed teenager.

Lee
said one month ago that he was stepping down temporarily, a day after
the Sanford City Commission expressed no confidence in his leadership.

George Zimmerman bail set at $150K plus monitoring device, curfew

Trayvon Martin, left – George Zimmerman, right

Circuit Judge Kenneth Lester says Zimmerman cannot have any firearms, drink alcohol or use drugs and must observe a curfew. Zimmerman will also have to wear an electronic monitoring device. The judge says Zimmerman will not be released Friday.

The judge says there is a possibility Zimmerman will be allowed to go out of state because of worries about his safety, but details need to be worked out among the attorneys and law enforcement.

Zimmerman apologized to Martin’s parents during the hearing, saying he didn’t know the 17-year-old Martin was unarmed.

I find it interesting that he specifically makes the remark that he didn’t know Trayvon was unarmed.  As if everyone in the world carries a gun?  Just comes across strange to me.

A new photo has been made public that apparently shows the back of Zimmerman’s head just moments after the shooting. Zimmerman’s head appears bloody and two cuts can be seen.

Zimmerman is charged with second-degree murder. He claims self-defense.
(source)

Judge recuses herself in George Zimmerman case

BREAKING: Judge recuses herself from George Zimmerman trial, citing conflict.

The defense team for George Zimmerman requested Monday that Seminole Circuit Judge Jessica Recksiedler, who was assigned to Zimmerman’s case, be removed after she revealed that her husband works with a CNN legal analyst.

Judge Recksiedler said in her decision that while the findings on each basis were “legally insufficient” for disqualification, “the cumulative effect of the events and the totality of the circumstances provides a legally sufficient basis for this court to grant the motion to disqualify,” a statement from the court said.

New judge is Kenneth M. Lester.

George Zimmerman’s lawyer requests new judge

Trayvon Martin, left – George Zimmerman, right

George Zimmerman’s attorney, Mark O’Mara, filed papers Monday to request a new judge in Trayvon Martin case.

The current judge assigned to the case, Jessica Reckseidler, revealed she may have a conflict of interest. Her husband is a partner at the firm of well-known local lawyer Mark NeJame.

NeJame has been hired by CNN to provide analysis on the case.

Zimmerman, meanwhile, is expected to be back in court on Friday to learn if he’ll be allowed out on bond before his trial.
(source)

AP: George Zimmerman charged with 2nd Degree Murder

The Associated Press is reporting that, based on information from a law enforcement official, George Zimmerman will be charged with 2nd Degree Murder and is in custody.

The official with knowledge of the case says that the charge against 28-year-old George Zimmerman will be announced at a news conference at 6 p.m. Wednesday. The official says he’s in custody in Florida but wouldn’t say where. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he wasn’t authorized to disclose the information.

Official source says George Zimmerman to be charged in Trayvon Martin shooting

Florida special prosecutor Angela Corey plans to announce as early as Wednesday afternoon that she is charging neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman in the shooting of Trayvon Martin, according to a law enforcement official close to the investigation.

It was not immediately clear what charge Zimmerman will face.

Martin, 17 and unarmed, was shot and killed Feb. 26 by Zimmerman, who said he was acting in self-defense. Police in Sanford, Fla., where the shooting took place, did not charge Zimmerman, citing the state’s “stand your ground” law.

Corey told reporters Tuesday night that she would hold a news conference about the case within 72 hours. A news release from her office said the event will be held in Sanford or Jacksonville, Fla.

The announcement of a charge against Zimmerman would come a day after Zimmerman’s attorneys withdrew from the case, citing their inability to contact Zimmerman.
(source)

George Zimmerman’s lawyers stepping back from representing him

George Zimmerman’s lawyers made a statement today to the media that they have lost contact with George Zimmerman and are stepping back from representing him for now.

Hal Uhrig and Craig Sonner say they have not heard from Zimmerman since a text message on Sunday.

They also indicated that Zimmerman has reached out to media figures like Sean Hannity against their counsel and also has spoken to the special prosecutor directly against legal advice.

They contend they believe he is still innocent of wrong doing, and that, if asked would turn himself in.

George Zimmerman’s former lawyers said during a press conference Tuesday that they never met face to face with their client. The communication was done through phone calls and meetings with family members, they said.

The lawyers suggested that their former client may not be in Florida anymore. “Stop looking in Florida,” the lawyers said.

Trayvon Martin’s family attorney expressed concern that Zimmerman may flee: “Trayvon’s family was always concerned that Zimmerman doesn’t try to skirt his legal responsibilities and become a flight risk.”

Funeral director: Trayvon Martin’s body showed no signs of a violent brawl

From NY Daily News: A Miami funeral director says Trayvon Martin’s body showed no signs of a violent brawl.

Richard Kurtz said his examination of the slain Florida teen’s corpse revealed no cuts, scratches or bruises, only a gunshot wound to the chest.

Kurtz’s account appears to contradict George Zimmerman’s claims that he shot Trayvon during a life-and-death struggle.

“We could see no physical signs like there had been a scuffle [or] there had been a fight,” Kurtz told CBS News.

“The hands — I didn’t see any knuckles, bruises or what have you, and that is something we would have covered up if it would have been there.”

Trayvon “looked perfectly normal to me when he came in and the story just does not make sense that he was in this type of scuffle or fight in anything that we could see,” Kurtz added.

Kurtz’s account marked the latest twist in a case that has sparked outrage across the U.S. over the murder of an unarmed black teen.

Read more at NY Daily News

George Zimmerman friend: “In many ways George has lost his life too”

George Zimmerman’s longtime friend Joe Oliver and his attorney Craig Sonner have hit the airwaves in an attempt to defend the shooter of young Trayvon Martin.

Both Oliver and Sonner appear today on ABC’s Good Morning America to talk about their conversations with Zimmerman. Oliver said Zimmerman thought “he was doing the right thing” and “has virtually lost his life now.” He added that Zimmerman was “very, very sorry because in many ways, George has lost his life too.”

To that statement I would say that while George Zimmerman may feel he has “virtually” lost his life, Trayvon Martin ACTUALLY lost his life.

Yesterday, Oliver was asked about the moment on the 911 tapes when some believe that, just prior to killing Trayvon Martin, Zimmerman used a racial slur. Oliver suggested that Zimmerman did not use a racial slur but said “goons.” Oliver says the word “goon” is a term of endearment in high schools today. I submit that George Zimmerman is NOT a high school student. He is a 28 year old man.

Here are a few more things you should know about George Martin and this shooting.