Zimmerman's lawyer wants new judge

ORLANDO — The lawyer for George Zimmerman, who is charged in the shooting death of unarmed black teenager Trayvon Martin, filed an appeal yesterday in a renewed attempt to seek a new judge in the case.

Mark O’Mara told reporters he asked a Florida appeals court to reconsider a ruling by Judge Kenneth Lester refusing to step down from the case.

In a motion filed last month, O’Mara claimed Lester made “gratuitous” and “disparaging remarks” about Zimmerman and showed bias in a July 5 ruling that raised Zimmerman’s bond from $150,000 to $1 million.

The bond increase came after prosecutors presented evidence Zimmerman and his wife, Shellie, misled the judge about their finances. Shellie Zimmerman was later charged with perjury.

Zimmerman, 28, has pleaded not guiltily to second-degree murder in the February 26 shooting death of Martin. The teen was unarmed and walking back from a store when Zimmerman called a 911 dispatcher and said Martin looked suspicious.

Zimmerman said he shot Martin in self defence after he was attacked and Martin repeatedly slammed his head to the ground.

He is free on a $1 million bond and living in an undisclosed safe house near the central Florida city of Sanford awaiting trial.

“He really has to live as a hermit,” said O’Mara. “He’s not doing well. He’s getting by.”

O’Mara also said contributions to Zimmerman’s legal defence fund have slowed. (Reuters)

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