- ISIL creates all-female brigade to terrorize women into following Sharia law
- ISTOOK: Obama wants to be impeached
- Obama to Latin leaders: Help with border
- Military bans troops from Baptist church event honoring ‘God’s Rescue Squad’
- ‘Pocket drones’: U.S. Army developing tiny surveillance tools for the next big war
- Belgian cafe posts sign: Dogs allowed, but Jews stay out
- Gen. Dempsey: Pentagon studying Russian readiness plans not viewed ‘for 20 years’
- John McCain: Botched, two-hour execution of murderer is ‘torture’
- House GOP ready to move border bill
- Bomb squad called after live WWII artillery washes on Cape Cod beach
Shooting case gets new judge
Zimmerman’s attorney raised impartiality issue
Question of the Day
ORLANDO, Fla. — The Florida judge presiding over the Trayvon Martin shooting case removed herself Wednesday after the attorney for defendant George Zimmerman argued she had possible conflicts of interest that related to her husband.
Florida Circuit Judge Jessica Recksiedler had said she would make a decision by Friday, when a bond hearing for Mr. Zimmerman had been set. Her husband works with Orlando attorney Mark NeJame, who was first approached by Mr. Zimmerman’s family to represent the neighborhood watch volunteer.
But Mr. NeJame declined and referred them to Mark O’Mara, who is now representing Mr. Zimmerman. Mr. NeJame has since been hired by CNN to comment on the case.
Judge Kenneth M. Lester Jr. will preside over the case. The next judge who would be in the court rotation, John D. Galluzzo, also cited a conflict, so Judge Lester was selected, according to a news release from the court.
Judge Galluzzo said he had a conflict because of his personal and business relationship with Mr. O’Mara.
Mr. O’Mara said he requested that Judge Recksiedler step down now because the case is just beginning and he wanted any possible conflict to be addressed right away rather than in the middle of the case. Judge Recksiedler was assigned the case after Mr. Zimmerman’s arrest last week.
The switch in judges isn’t expected to change Friday’s bail hearing during which Mr. Zimmerman will ask to be released on bond.
Mr. Zimmerman is charged with second-degree murder for the Feb. 26 shooting of the 17-year-old victim, whom Mr. Zimmerman says he shot in self-defense after he says the teen attacked him.
Trayvon’s family and supporters claim Mr. Zimmerman was the aggressor, targeting the teen for suspicion mainly because he was black. Mr. Zimmerman’s father is white and his mother Hispanic.
Judge Lester, 58, was first elected to the bench in 1996.
He was born in Chicago and grew up in central Florida. He graduated from the University of Florida College of Law in 1980, a year behind the special prosecutor in the case, Angela Corey.
A spokeswoman for Ms. Corey didn’t immediately return an email and phone call asking if they knew each other.
TWT Video Picks
President wants everyone but himself to pay more
- U.S. evacuates embassy in Libya amid violent clashes between militias
- 'Pocket drones': U.S. Army developing tiny spies for the next big war
- Rahm Emanuel: Send illegal immigrant shelter kids to Chicago
- ISTOOK: Obama wants to be impeached
- NAPOLITANO: What if our democracy is a fraud?
- 'We're coming for you, Barack Obama': Top U.S. official discloses threat from ISIL terrorists
- Obama: U.S. should 'embrace an economic patriotism that says we rise or fall together'
- Ted Nugent loses second casino gig for 'racist remarks'
- Obama orders Pentagon advisers to Ukraine
- EDITORIAL: Obama's 'economic patriotism' means higher taxes
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors
20 gadgets that changed the world
Fighting in Iraq