- Beretta leaves Maryland over gun laws, heads for Tennessee
- Neal Boortz defends Hillary Clinton for representing child rapist
- House task force to recommend National Guard on border, faster deportations
- Top federal judge uses pizza to explain complex Obamacare situation
- Obama, Biden overhaul job training programs
- Drought-plagued Californians turn to paint to keep lawns green
- ISIL now forcing Iraqi shopkeepers to veil mannequins in Mosul
- 11 parents of Nigeria’s abducted girls die
- Genetic mapping triggers new hope on schizophrenia
- Turkish P.M. Erdogan won’t speak to Obama, but he’ll take calls from Biden
Zimmerman appears in Fla. court
Murder case arraignment set for May 29
Question of the Day
Suspect George Zimmerman made his first appearance in a Florida courtroom Thursday, the day after he was charged with second-degree murder in the racially charged shooting death of black teenager Trayvon Martin.
Mr. Zimmerman, flanked by a police officer and attorney Mark O'Mara, appeared calm and alert during the brief hearing at the Seminole County courthouse in Sanford, Fla., which was broadcast on closed-circuit television.
Wearing a gray prison jumpsuit, Mr. Zimmerman responded “Yes, sir,” when the judge asked whether his attorney was present. Those were his only words.
Judge Mark E. Herr set an arraignment date for May 29 before Seminole County Circuit Court Judge Jessica Recksiedler. He referred the bail and plea decisions to the higher court.
The brief, low-key legal hearing came in sharp contrast to weeks of protests and media scrutiny over the Feb. 26 shooting. Civil rights groups had accused Mr. Zimmerman, whose mother is Hispanic, of racial profiling while serving as a neighborhood watch volunteer and had criticized Sanford police for allowing him to go free instead of charging him immediately.
Meanwhile, Trayvon’s mother, Sybrina Fulton, retracted a statement she made Thursday morning. In an interview on NBC’s “The Today Show,” she said she believed the shooting was accidental.
“I believe it was an accident, I believe that it just got out of control and [Mr. Zimmerman] couldn’t turn the clock back,” said Ms. Fulton.
Later that day, she issued a statement saying that her comment was “mischaracterized,” and that “in NO way did I mean the shooting was an accident.
“We believe George Zimmerman stalked my son and murdered him in cold blood,” said Ms. Fulton in the statement. “The ‘accident’ I was referring to was the fact that George Zimmerman and my son ever crossed paths.”
Mr. O'Mara said in media interviews Thursday that he would invoke the “stand your ground” statute, which allows citizens to use deadly force in self-defense rather than retreat. He added that he hopes Mr. Zimmerman will be released on bond so that he can assist in preparing his defense.
“I’m concerned for his safety, and I’m truly hoping there will be a receding of frustration and anger now that the process is moving forward,” said Mr. O'Mara.
After Mr. Zimmerman left the courtroom Thursday, the judge agreed to a request by Mr. O'Mara to seal temporarily the majority of the case record, including documents that give witness names, addresses and phone numbers.
Mr. Zimmerman turned himself into police Wednesday and was arrested on charges brought by Florida State Attorney Angela Corey. The charge of second-degree murder carries a mandatory sentence of life in prison.
© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
Valerie Richardson covers politics and the West from Denver. She can be reached at email@example.com.
- Act would create tax-free savings accounts for the disabled
- Rep. Jared Polis' anti-fracking crusade riles Colorado
- Carson wins straw poll as conservatives focus on winning battle of ideas
- 'Carson for president' troops converge on Western Conservative Summit
- Palin urges Western Conservative Summit grassroots to support impeachment of Obama
Latest Blog Entries
TWT Video Picks
The president could pay the full price for ignoring Congress
- David Perdue defeats Jack Kingston in Georgia Republican Senate primary runoff
- IRS seeks help destroying another 3,200 computer hard drives
- D.C. appeals panel deals big blow to Obamacare subsidies
- 'Straight White Guy Festival' supposedly set for Ohio park
- Beretta moving to Tennessee over Maryland gun laws
- Gen. James Amos, Marine Corps commandant, slams Obama's handling of Iraq
- Pentagon team dispatched to Ukraine amid crisis with Russia
- BERMAN & MADYOON: An Iranian-Turkish reset
- MAY: Barbarians at Jordan's gate
- CARSON: Costco and the perils of mixing politics and business
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors
20 gadgets that changed the world
Fighting in Iraq