SANFORD, Fla. - The judge in the case of George Zimmerman, who's charged with murder in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin, has delayed ruling on the state's gag order.
Judge Debra S. Nelson said she expects to rule on the state's gag order by Monday.
Assistant state attorney Bernie de la Rionda on Friday argued the motion, saying that he believes Zimmerman's defense attorney, former Local 6 legal analyst Mark O'Mara, has been using a website, social media and news conferences to influence potential jurors.
O'Mara launched a website, as well as Twitter and Facebook accounts in April, citing a need to diffuse fraudulent Internet entities that claimed to come from Zimmerman. O'Mara contends he doesn't discuss any specific evidence and has been compliant with all bar rules. He said he put up the website manage the press "ethically and properly."
Judge Nelson also said on Friday Zimmerman's stand your ground hearing will be set for late April, 45 days before his June 10 trial in the death of Martin.
O'Mara filed a motion to keep witnesses from speaking to attorneys before depositions are filed, which was denied. O'Mara on Friday also questioned the state's motivation in charging Zimmerman, citing "political" motives to quell the outrage of Martin's death.
Zimmerman appeared in court on Friday wearing a dark sports coat and silver tie. He is charged with second-degree murder in the February shooting in a gated Sanford community. He has pleaded not guilty, citing Florida's "stand your ground" law.
Martin, 17, was not carrying a gun when he was shot.
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