George Zimmerman's defense team gets Trayvon Martin's school records

Records won't be released to public, attorney Mark O'Mara says

Published On: Jan 16 2013 11:12:54 AM EST   Updated On: Jan 16 2013 12:25:04 PM EST
ORLANDO, Fla. -

The defense team for George Zimmerman, the neighborhood watchman charged with shooting and killing 17-year-old Trayvon Martin, has received Martin's school records, but won't release it to the public, according to the defense website.

Zimmerman's attorney, former Local 6 legal analyst Mark O'Mara, writes on GZLegalCase.com that Martin's records are protected and shouldn't be part of the public record.

"A number of parties have expressed concern that we will use information found in the school records to “demonize” Trayvon Martin," O'Mara writes. "The Zimmerman defense has no intention to demonize Trayvon Martin. While we believe that George Zimmerman has been unjustly demonized as a racist and a murderer by those who saw benefit in doing so, nothing would justify a reciprocal attack on the character and memory of Trayvon Martin."

The judge ruled that the defense should have the records, even though the state objected and Martin's family's attorney, Benjamin Crump, registered a public objection. Both state and Crump argued Zimmerman didn't know MArtin before the night of the Feb. 26 shooting, so Martin's school records is "irrelevant," according to the website.

The defense does say they plan to challenge Martin's representation as the several-years-old pictures of Martin as a boy.

"We do, for instance, have an interest in presenting Trayvon Martin accurately as he appeared on the night of February 26, 2012, and that will include challenging the several-years-old photo of Trayvon Martin as a boy wearing a red shirt -- the photo that has become the popular representation of him in the minds of the public at large," O'Mara writes. "If the memory of Trayvon Martin is going to be a catalyst for a conversation about race relations in America, then we should have an honest conversation."

Zimmerman is pleading not guilty to second-degree murder, claiming self-defense. His trial is set for the middle of 2013.