George Zimmerman immunity hearing won't be held in April

Former neighborhood watch leader charged with murder in death of Trayvon Martin

SANFORD, Fla. - Attorneys for George Zimmerman, the neighborhood watch leader charged with murder in the shooting of Florida teen Trayvon Martin, said Tuesday that an immunity hearing will not be held in April as previously scheduled.

In a court hearing Tuesday, Zimmerman's lead defense attorney, former Local 6 legal analyst Mark O'Mara, and his team were seeking movement on a handful of pre-trial motions.

Before the judge recessed to review a motion, she asked O'Mara if he wanted to go forward with the immunity hearing or if she could schedule other cases during the two-week span in April.  O'Mara said the hearing would not take place at that time, but he did not say if it would be heard later or rolled into the murder trial, which is scheduled for June.

In Florida, a person claiming self-defense is provided an immunity hearing.  In Zimmerman's case, his attorneys will likely argue that he shot Martin because he was in fear of his life and, therefore, should be immune from criminal prosecution.

Earlier, the defense discussed a motion about Witness 8, a teen who says she was on the phone with Martin when he was shot and needed to go to a hospital afterward because she suffered trauma.

"I think Witness 8 is a very significant if not he most significant witness because her testimony thus far has been she was there talking on the phone with Trayvon Martin when he passed him before," O'Mara said. "Credibility is always an issue with any witness and if it rises to the level of being evidentially  significant then it will come in."

The defense withdrew the motion, however, when it learned that she "lied" about going to a hospital.

"She in fact did not go to the hospital as she had stated under oath and Mr. Guy represented there would not be hospital records confirming her sworn statement because she in fact lied," said defense attorney Don West.

The state conceded the point but didn't comment on it after the hearing.

"I'm not going to be making any comments about specific witnesses because quite frankly we let the witnesses speak when they tell the truth under oath in the courtroom and let the evidence speak for itself," said Assistant State Prosecutor Bernie de la Rionda.

The judge also denied a defense motion to obtain the address for Witness 8.  She said the defense could obtain the information during a deposition.

The defense also wants all the information about Martin, including any criminal history and Twitter and Facebook content, that was acquired by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.

The FDLE says, however, there's possible criminal information in Martin's biographical file, and a lawyer for the agency said the information cannot be disclosed to Zimmerman.

Zimmerman, 29, claims he shot Martin in self-defense inside a gated Sanford community and has pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder.

The next hearing is set for April 2.  Zimmerman's murder trial is scheduled to begin June 10.

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