Judge rules Zimmerman’s team can review slain teen’s records
(CNN) — A Florida judge has ruled that Trayvon Martin’s school and social media records can be handed over to the defense team of his alleged killer, George Zimmerman, despite the efforts of the slain 17-year-old’s family to keep the information private.
The decision, made Friday afternoon by Circuit Judge Debra Nelson, could prompt the Miami-area schools Martin attended to provide documents that may include his grades, attendance and any disciplinary action.
But Nelson also ruled that Zimmerman’s medical records must be given to prosecutors, though she stipulated that she must first review the material to determine if anything should be removed.
The decisions came just hours after Martin’s father made a plea to the court not to disclose his son’s records.
“I think it’s wrong that we attack the victim,” said Tracy Martin. “Our first priority shouldn’t be to assassinate the character of the victims and make dead children seem as though they’re the perpetrator.”
Zimmerman, 28, is charged with second-degree murder in the shooting death of Martin on February 26 in Sanford, Florida.
The volunteer neighborhood watchman was driving through his gated community when the incident occurred. He has claimed self-defense, saying Martin charged him after the two exchanged words, knocked him to the ground and banged his head repeatedly against a concrete sidewalk.
Martin’s death sparked nationwide protests and inflamed public passions over race relations and gun control, as well as Florida’s controversial “Stand Your Ground” law, which allows the use of deadly force when a person perceives a threat to safety.
Attorneys for Zimmerman could not be immediately reached for comment.
His trial is set for June.