Attorneys for George Zimmerman will be allowed to issue subpoenas for the school and social media records of Miami Gardens teen Trayvon Martin, a judge ruled during a hearing Friday.
Judge Debra S. Nelson said attorneys will be allowed to issue subpoenas for the school records and Facebook and Twitter accounts for Martin. The defense lawyers need to know whether the records give any evidence that Martin had violent tendencies, she said.
Zimmerman's attorneys want to subpoena records from the Miami area schools attended by the 17-year-old, including Norland Middle School, Miami Carol City High School, Dr. Michael M. Krop Senior High and the Miami-Dade County Public Schools.
Zimmerman, 29, is charged with second-degree murder for fatally shooting Martin during a confrontation in a gated community in Sanford last February. Zimmerman is pleading not guilty, claiming self-defense. A trial date has been set for June 10.
On Friday lawyers for both sides discussed the defense's request for a better copy of an audio recording that Martin family attorney Benjamin Crump made of an interview that involved "witness #8.” Defense attorney Donald West said she was on the phone with Martin around the time of the events of Feb. 26.
He said the recording was largely unintelligible, and said that he had asked the prosecution for a better version and received no response.
Prosecutor Bernardo de la Rionda said the recording was made by phone and added that he had given West the best copy he had.
Crump then came forward and said it is difficult to hear the recording of the conversation, which took place using a speakerphone. He said he gave the recording to the FBI, which preserved it and then gave it to the state of Florida.
Nelson gave Crump 10 days to provide a list of the people who were in the room and could hear both sides of the conversation.
Also in court, attorney Mark O’Mara filed an emergency motion for a protective order with the judge and handed a copy to de la Rionda. He objected to the motion and to the filing of it.
Nelson said O’Mara was allowed to file the motion with her in court, and said she wouldn’t seal the document. She described it as a request to sequester witnesses before their depositions.
The next court hearing is next Friday afternoon, Oct. 26, when Nelson said she would take up O’Mara’s new request, and the prosecution’s motion for a gag order regarding information about a witness who was deposed Thursday.
At a news conference before Friday's hearing, Martin's parents, Sybrina Fulton and Tracy Martin, said his records shouldn't be released but said if they were, they want Zimmerman's medical records to also be released.
"Trayvon was the victim, and I think it's wrong that we attack the victim, and I just feel as human beings that our first priority shouldn't be to assassinate the character of the victims and make dead children seems as though they're the perpetrator," Tracy Martin said. "I feel that Trayvon's school records are not relevant in this case. I feel that George Zimmerman's medical records are very relevant to the case."
Nelson said she is reviewing Zimmerman's medical records to see if they should be turned over to prosecutors.