Judge disqualifies herself from Trayvon Martin case
Judge Kenneth M. Lester named as replacement
SANFORD, Fla. – Citing a possible conflict of interest, the judge in the Trayvon Martin investigation on Wednesday has disqualified herself from presiding over the case of George Zimmerman, who's charged with second-degree murder in the teen's death.
Judge Jessica Recksiedler signed an order disqualifying herself from further proceedings. Judge Kenneth M. Lester Jr. will now preside over the case after another judge also had a conflict. Judge Galluzo filed a notice of conflict because of prior business and a personal relationship with Zimmerman's attorney, Mark O'Mara, according to the release.
Chief Judge Alan Dickey issued a statement, saying Recksiedler is "very capable of presiding over this or any other criminal case." Dickey also said he has "complete confidence in Judge Lester as well," in the Zimmerman case.
Lester, 58, is a former defense attorney who was elected as a circuit court judge in 1996 and re-elected for subsequent terms without opposition.
O'Mara, filed a motion on Monday asking for the recusal of Recksiedler, whose husband works for the law firm of Mark NeJame, who recommended Zimmerman to O'Mara.
NeJame, who has been hired by CNN as a legal analyst in the case, was first approached by Zimmerman's family to represent Zimmerman.
Zimmerman, 28, remains jailed in the fatal shooting, which occurred the night of Feb. 26 in Sanford. A bond hearing for Zimmerman will be held at 9 a.m. Friday.
Criminal defense attorney Amir LaDan bas been practicing law for 14 years and said he believes Zimmerman will be granted bond.
"I wouldn't be surprised at a bond in the $100,000 range," he said. "That's really what bond is guaranteed to do, one, ensure that he shows up and two, that he's not going to be out there committing any other offenses."
LaDan said Zimmerman has several things going in his favor, including that he turned himself in and hired an attorney.
Zimmerman, a neighborhood watch leader, claims the shooting was in self-defense, but state prosecutors say he profiled the teen and was the aggressor in the shooting.
Zimmerman was not immediately arrested because police, citing Florida's "stand your ground" law, said there was no evidence to refute his claim of self-defense.
The law came under fire, and the lack of an immediate arrest in the shooting prompted marches, rallies and protests in Sanford and across the country.
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