Zimmerman judge says he won’t step aside

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George Zimmerman

(CNN) — The Florida judge presiding over the murder case against a former neighborhood watch volunteer who killed an unarmed teenager refused a defense request to step aside Wednesday.

In a one-sentence order, Seminole County Circuit Judge Kenneth Lester said the July request by lawyers for George Zimmerman was “legally insufficient” for him to recuse himself. Zimmerman’s lawyers had argued that their client feared he could not get a fair trial before Lester, who had revoked Zimmerman’s bond and blasted the defendant for failing to completely disclose his assets in an earlier bail hearing.

Zimmerman is charged with second-degree murder in the death of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin, who was shot and killed while walking through Zimmerman’s Sanford, Florida, neighborhood in February. Zimmerman says he shot Martin in self-defense during a struggle, but prosecutors say he ignored a 911 dispatcher’s advice not to follow the teen.

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