Judge allows George Zimmerman to leave Seminole County to see lawyers

Attorney Mark O'Mara files motion to modify release conditions

Published On: Aug 30 2012 04:51:00 PM EDT   Updated On: Aug 24 2012 12:57:13 PM EDT
ORLANDO, Fla. -

A judge ruled that George Zimmerman, the neighborhood watchman who shot and killed Trayvon Martin, will be allowed to leave the county where he lives so he can meet with his attorneys.

Judge Kenneth Lester adjusted George Zimmerman's bond terms on Friday so that he could have easier access to his lawyers. The terms of Zimmerman's $1 million bond had required him to stay within Seminole County.

Zimmerman will now be allowed to travel to nearby Orange County, where the offices of his attorneys are located. Any other movement will require he provide a detailed itinerary for continued GPS monitoring.

Mark O'Mara filed a motion late Wednesday asking that George Zimmerman be allowed to leave Seminole County. Lester did say that Zimmerman's attorneys could make a convincing argument why its necessary for Zimmerman to move and to prove they have a plan.

In granting Zimmerman $1 million bond release last month, Judge Kenneth Lester mandated that he remain in the county of the February shooting.

Zimmerman has pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder.

O'Mara argues that the mandate is interfering with Zimmerman's ability to contribute to his defense.

"The restriction of Mr. Zimmerman not to leave Seminole County has had an ongoing, deleterious effect on his ability to assist the preparation of his own defense," O'Mara writes. "Mr. Zimmerman must be able to travel to meet with his lawyers and to attend to various other necessary matters."

Due to safety concerns, Zimmerman is living in hiding.

"Since shortly after the tragic events of February 26, 2012, Mr. Zimmerman and his entire extended family have had to live in hiding, fearing for their own safety," O'Mara writes. "This case has gained a great amount of national and international publicity, and based upon the facts of the case, a great amount of notoriety and animosity."

Lester revoked Zimmerman's original $150,000 bond in June, which did not have the same living restrictions, after he ruled that Zimmerman and his wife had misled the court about their financial status.

Meanwhile, the state also released a response to Zimmerman's objection to the subpoena for his medical records from the Altamonte Family Practice.

In the hearing Friday, Lester said he'll review Zimmerman's medical records to determine whether the defense must turn them over to prosecutors.

In the hearing, which lasted about 8 minutes, O'Mara tried to fight a subpoena that would require Zimmerman's doctors to hand over any additional medical records, arguing that the subpoena is too broad and would improperly give prosecutors medical information that is irrelevant to whether Zimmerman killed Martin.

Prosecutors said they want to see if there are X-rays, scans or anything else to support the diagnosis that Zimmerman suffered a broken nose and hurt his back the night of the Feb. 26 shooting.

The judge didn't quash the subpoena, but said he would review all medical records behind closed doors with attorneys before allowing the information to be made public.

Meanwhile, Zimmerman's defense is awaiting a ruling from an appeals court to see if Lester will be thrown off the case. The defense believes Lester has shown prejudice against Zimmerman, but Lester refused to recuse himself. If a new judge is assigned it's possible the defense may try to re-argue some of the motions again.

Watch Local 6 for more on this story.