Appeals court grants George Zimmerman new judge

Judge Kenneth Lester removed from Trayvon Martin case

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SANFORD, Fla. - The 5th district court of appeals has granted the petition for a new judge for George Zimmerman, the neighborhood watchman who shot and killed 17-year-old Trayvon Martin.

Attorney Mark O'Mara filed the appeal with the 5th District Court of Appeal in Daytona Beach.

"Accordingly, we direct the trial judge to enter an order of disqualification which requests the chief circuit judge to appoint a successor judge," the ruling reads.

Zimmerman's previous judge, Kenneth Lester, refused to recuse himself on Aug. 1, saying the motion was "legally insufficient."

The former neighborhood watch leader said that he feared Lester is biased against him and he wants a new judge to preside over his case.

This is the second judge to be removed from Zimmerman's case. Judge Jessica Recksiedler first removed herself from the case in April because of a conflict of interest.

It's not clear who the new judge will be. O'Mara released a statement on his legal website,, saying, "we expect a new judge will be assigned shortly."

Zimmerman, 28, is charged with second-degree murder in the Feb. 26 shooting death of Martin, who was 17 years old, in a gated Sanford community.

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