SANFORD, Fla. - George Zimmerman, the Sanford neighborhood watch leader who's charged with murder in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin, was formally arraigned Tuesday in Seminole County.
Zimmerman, 28, who has been released on bond, did not attend the 1:30 p.m. arraignment. His attorney, former Local 6 legal analyst Mark O'Mara, filed a written plea of not guilty on his client's behalf and waived Zimmerman's appearance. O'Mara also waived Zimmerman's right to a speedy trial.
In the short arraignment, the judge set Zimmerman's pretrial hearing for Aug. 8.
Zimmerman is charged with second-degree murder in the 17-year-old's death, which occurred Feb. 26 in Sanford. The case sparked racial tensions around the country because Martin, who was unarmed, was black, while Zimmerman has a white father and Hispanic mother.
Martin's family and supporters claim he was a victim of racial profiling.
Zimmerman has claimed Martin attacked him and that he fired in self-defense.
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