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Trayvon Martin Texts, Photos Released by Zimmerman's Defense Team

By Newsmax Wires   |   Friday, 24 May 2013 08:08 AM

Trayvon Martin texts and photos were released by George Zimmerman's defense team Thursday, revealing a troubling side of the slain Florida teen.

In the disclosure, there is a discussion with a friend of Martin being forced to leave his mother's house due to problems at school, as well as images of a gun and what appears to be a potted marijuana plant.

A hearing next week will decide if the information can be used at the trial for George Zimmerman, who is charged with fatally shooting the unarmed 17-year-old last year during a confrontation at a gated community in Sanford, the Associated Press reported.

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Prosecutors want the negative evidence omitted, but Zimmerman's defense attorney said if they try to portray his client as the antagonist and Martin as the victim, he wants to show the jury that Martin has talked about fighting before.

"If they had suggested that Trayvon is nonviolent and that George is the aggressor, I think that makes evidence of the fighting he has been involved with in the past relevant," said Mark O'Mara.

Zimmerman, 29, has pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder, claiming self-defense and his trial starts next month. O'Mara also filed a motion Thursday asking for a delay in the start of the trial so the defense team can talk at length with an expert witness for the prosecution.

The photos released by Zimmerman's defense team also show Martin blowing smoke and extending his middle finger to the camera.

In the text messages, Martin tells a friend that his mother has told him he needs to move in with his father since he was caught skipping school. He also talks with a friend about smoking "weed."

In another section, he describes being in a fight where his opponent got more hits than he did in the first round.

Prosecutors have filed a motion asking Circuit Judge Debra Nelson to prevent the photos, texts and other personal information from being used at the trial. The hearing is set for next Tuesday when the judge also will consider the motion to delay the trial.

Attorneys for Martin's parents said in a statement that the photos and texts were irrelevant to the trial and could pollute the jury pool.

"Is the defense trying to prove Trayvon deserved to be killed by George Zimmerman because (of) the way he looked?" they said. "If so, this stereotypical and closed-minded thinking is the same mindset that caused George Zimmerman to get out of his car and pursue Trayvon, an unarmed kid who he didn't know."

As for the delay, O'Mara said he needed more time to review the qualifications of a prosecution witness with an expertise in speech identification. O'Mara said prosecutors only made him aware of the expert a short time ago. The expert could be used to testify whose voices were on 911 calls that captured the fatal fight between Zimmerman and Martin.

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O'Mara said in an interview that he needed another month or two to prepare.

Additionally, O'Mara also intends to request that the judge sequester not only the jury but the jury pool in the upcoming trial as well. Consequently, at least 500 potential jurors could be sequestered in order to fin the six individuals who can serve adds O'Mara.

Related stories:

Trayvon Martin Shouts Heard on Tape Are Disputed (Audio)

Florida Town Remembers Trayvon Martin a Year after Killing

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Trayvon Martin's texts and photos were released by George Zimmerman's defense team Thursday revealing another possibly more troubling side of the slain Florida teen.

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