Zimmerman Lawyer: I'm OK With Judge's Evidence Restrictions In Trial

Wednesday, 29 May 2013 05:58 PM

By Bill Hoffmann

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A Florida judge's decision to ban Trayvon Martin's marijuana use and history of fighting from being mentioned in opening statements at the trial of his accused killer George Zimmerman, is fine with the defense.

"I'm very okay with the judge saying we don’t want either one of you going places that this trial may not take us," Zimmerman's lawyer Mark O'Mara told "The Steve Malzberg Show" on Newsmax TV.

Story continues below.

"If the state tries this case on just what happened those five or six minutes that these two lives intersected … all of the stuff they brought about George and all of the stuff that's out there about Trayvon, the majority of that's probably not going to become relevant."

Zimmerman — on trial for second-degree murder in the Feb. 26, 2012 tragedy in Sanford, Fla. — says he shot the 17-year-old Martin in self-defense.

O’Mara, who's argued that Martin’s drug use may have made him aggressive and compelled him to attack Zimmerman, said parts of Martin's background may, in fact, become relevant later in the trial.

"I will tell you the issue concerning his knowledge of fighting may well become relevant but I'm very willing to wait until seeing how the state handles this case and then we'll respond," he told Steve Malzberg.

O'Mara said he is unsure of whether he'll have Zimmerman take the witness stand in his own defense.

"He's already given four or five statements about the events that night. He voluntarily gave them — did everything the cops told him to do. So that information's going to get before a jury," O'Mara said.

"But the reality is the state has the undeniable and sole burden of disproving my client's self-defense beyond a reasonable doubt. If they don’t do that, we don’t have to put on a witness … He's innocent. So the system should work and he will be acquitted."

O'Mara confirmed reports that Zimmerman has ballooned up over the anxiety of Martin's death and the upcoming trial.

"He's gained over 120 pounds. He's very stressed out,'' he said.

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