Trayvon Martin

The prosecutor in the Trayvon Martin case says a motion by George Zimmerman's attorney asking the judge to disqualify himself is without merit.
Responding to the defense's motion for recusal filed last week, prosecutor Bernie de la Rionda submitted a response Tuesday also calling the request "absurd on its face." De la Rionda wrote that though the defense takes issue with language used by Judge Kenneth Lester in setting Zimmerman's second bond at $1 million, it doesn't create any predisposition about future rulings.

The State Attorney’s office has released more documents in the case against the neighborhood watchman charged with killing a teenager in Sanford, Florida. the information shows conflicting accounts about the degree of George Zimmerman’s injuries he sustained in a confrontation with 17-year old Trayvon Martin.

The Prosecutor in the Trayvon Martin case released tapes of six recorded phone conversations Monday that Martin’s shooter, George Zimmerman, had with his wife while in jail.The tapes show Zimmerman talking to his wife about transferring money from an account linked to a website created to raise funds for Zimmerman’s legal defense.

Zimmerman back behind bars awaiting new bond hearing

Jun 4, 2012

George Zimmerman's attorney says his client was confused and fearful when he allowed his wife to mislead court officials about the couple's finances.

Zimmerman's attorney, Mark O' Mara, made the statements on a website run by Zimmerman's legal team.

Seminole County Circuit Judge Kenneth Lester ordered Zimmerman to turn himself in after learning the defendant had told the court he had no money when, in fact, his website had taken in more than $135,000 thousand dollars.

Capital Report: 05-04-2012

May 4, 2012

Most of the people charged in the hazing death of a Florida A & M University drum major have been taken into custody. Lynn Hatter reports the arrests come after state law enforcement authorities announced charges against 13 people on Wednesday. The arrests have some people beginning to wonder what’s next in the fate of FAM-U’s fabled band program.



State Senator Chris Smith says Florida’s Stand Your Ground law needs an overhaul, and, if the task force created by Governor Rick Scott doesn’t move on amending the statute, he says he will. Lynn Hatter reports on Monday Smith released the findings of his own task force – which would do away with key provisions of the law but stops short of recommending a full repeal.

The legal defense team for George Zimmerman, the man accused of second-degree murder in the shooting of Florida teenager Trayvon Martin, has created a website, Facebook page and Twitter account to protest his interests.

Zimmerman posts bail, apologizes to Trayvon Martin's family

Apr 20, 2012

The man who shot 17-year-old Trayvon Martin will be released from jail. A Seminole County judge granted George Zimmerman bail in the amount of $150,000 today, after the Sanford man spent more than a week behind bars. From member station WMFE in Orlando, Nicole Creston reports the bond hearing brought new information and another strange twist to the case.

In a surprising move, 28-year-old George Zimmerman took the stand to apologize to the parents of Trayvon Martin, who were sitting in the courtroom.

UPDATE at 11:10 a.m. EST:

Judge Kenneth Lester says George Zimmerman can go free as he awaits trial if he posts a $150,000 bail.

Lester said as a condition of his release, Zimmerman would be electronically monitored, could have no contact with Trayvon Martin's family and would be prohibited from possessing firearms or using alcohol. He will also be on a curfew and have to check in every three days.

The judge said once he is assured that security measures have been met, Zimmerman will be freed.


Florida Governor Rick Scott is announcing a task force to look into the state’s “Stand Your Ground Law.” Regan McCarthy reports the task force is set to hold its first meeting in May. The formation of the task force comes after the shooting death of an unarmed teen back in February.

Coming soon from the WFSU News Team

Apr 19, 2012

Daily News Digest 4/19/2012:

The Governor is planning to announce the members of the Task Force on Citizen Safety and Protection—a group he created in the wake of the shooting death of a black teen in Sanford Florida.  Meanwhile, the judge slated to try the case has stepped aside  due to a conflict of interest.

The killing of Trayvon Martin has led a federal panel to revisit the issue of racial profiling in America. As Sascha Cordner reports, the “End Racial Profiling in America” hearing was called Tuesday by the U.S. Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights, and Human Rights.

When neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman shot Trayvon Martin, Florida Congresswoman Frederica Wilson says that’s a textbook example of racial profiling. She says there’s a connection between the 17-year-old’s death and how black boys have been treated throughout history.

WASHINGTON- Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” law is under intense scrutiny after 17-year-old Trayvon Martin was fatally shot by neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman. Calls to repeal the law have intensified but the controversy neatly fits into the legal community’s natural divide. Trimmel Gomes examines why prosecutors decry the law, while defense attorneys are willingly embracing it.

Florida’s “Stand Your Ground Law” has been pushed into the national spotlight after a 17 year-old, Trayvon Martin, was shot and killed by Sanford neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman. Prosecutors have long been against “Stand Your Ground” because they believe it makes it more difficult to prosecute serious crimes like murder cases. But with increasing calls to repeal the law, defense attorneys say that would be a terrible mistake. We hear both sides of the argument:



State Attorney, Willie Meggs of the 2nd judicial Circuit,

The man who says he shot and killed 17-year-old Trayvon Martin in self defense is now in custody. Regan McCarthy reports George Zimmerman turned himself in after officials issued a warrant for his arrest Wednesday.

Angela Corey, the Special Prosecutor in the case announced during a press conference Wednesday evening that she’s charging Zimmerman with second degree murder. Corey says her goal is to use the facts to get “justice” for the “victim” in the case.

New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg is backing a national effort to overturn so-called “Stand your Ground" laws. As Trimmel Gomes reports, the mayor says the laws make America less safe.

Bloomberg, along with groups such as the NAACP are calling on states like Florida to repeal, amend or defeat what he calls “shoot first” laws. He says the laws only promote vigilantism, pointing to the Trayvon Martin case an example.

“It’s now clear that these laws have undermined the integrity of the justice system and done real harm to public safety.”

The special prosecutor appointed to the case of the 17-year-old black teen shot in Sanford will not be using a grand jury to determine what charges, if any, will be brought in the case. Lynn Hatter reports the news comes a day before a Grand Jury was supposed to meet.

Twenty-eight –year-old George Zimmerman is accused of shooting Trayvon Martin and the Sanford Police Department has caught flack for the way it handled the case. Zimmerman says he shot the teen in self-defense and hasn’t been arrested. The case has sparked national outrage and charges of racism.

The death of a black teen at the hands of a neighborhood watchman has caught the attention of the nation, dominated media headlines and put a spotlight on Florida’s gun laws. But Lynn Hatter reports in the weeks since the death of Trayvon Martin, the focus on the circumstances surrounding the teen’s death has also created backlash against the media for misleading and sometimes inaccurate coverage.

NBC has been criticized for the way it edited 911 calls that portray the alleged shooter, George Zimmerman, as racially insensitive. Here is the original audio tape:

About 150 people marched to Florida’s Capitol building to remember the African-American teen who was killed in Sanford back in February by a neighborhood watchman. Lynn Hatter reports the group was protesting the handling of case by local authorities on the 44th anniversary of the assassination of Civil Rights Leader Martin Luther King Jr.

A state senator is launching his own task force to study Florida’s Stand Your Ground law. James Call reports, Fort Lauderdale Senator Chris Smith says Florida’s reputation can’t afford to wait for the governor to act.

The February shooting death of Trayvon Martin has focused media attention on a Florida law allowing people to respond with deadly force if they feel threatened. Smith, a south Florida Democrat, says the national uproar is a threat to Florida’s tourism-based economy.

The shooting death of a 17-year old teen has drawn national attention to the central Florida community of Sanford. Lynn Hatter reports Trayvon Martin was killed in February by a self-appointed neighborhood watchman while walking in the neighborhood where his father's girlfriend lives. Now state and federal officials are looking for answers, and the nation is having a conversation about race, profiling, and a Florida law that critics say is at the center of the case.

It starts with a phone call:

The shooting death of a black teen in Orlando by a neighborhood watchman has brought attention to a Florida law that has been implicated in the case. But as Lynn Hatter reports, a group of attorneys say the state’s “Stand Your Ground” law, isn’t to blame, and that it has been misrepresented in the case.

State Sen. Gary Siplin wants Governor Rick Scott to appoint a special prosecutor to oversee the investigation into the death of an unarmed black teen in Sanford. Trayvon Martin was shot by George Zimmerman, a neighborhood watchman. The case has sparked national allegations of racism.

The shooting death of an unarmed black teen in Orlando has sparked national outrage and stirred racial tensions. It’s also brought attention to Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” law. Lynn Hatter reports even Governor Rick Scott is weighing in.

The shooting death of an unarmed black teen last month in Orlando is drawing protests and calls for action. Lynn Hatter reports the shooter, a 28-year old white neighborhood watch volunteer, is the target of a state attorney investigation. The shooter claims self-defense. The case has sparked a national outcry and stirred racial tensions.