ORLANDO, Fla. (CBSDC/AP) — The judge presiding over the Trayvon Martin shooting case removed herself Wednesday after the attorney for defendant George Zimmerman argued she had a possible conflict of interest that related to her husband.
Judge Kenneth M. Lester Jr. will preside over the case. The next judge who would be in the court rotation, John D. Galluzzo, also cited a conflict, so Lester was selected, according to a news release from the court.
Florida Circuit Judge Jessica Recksiedler had said she would make a decision by Friday, when a bond hearing for Zimmerman had previously been set. Her husband works with Orlando attorney Mark NeJame, who was first approached by Zimmerman’s family to represent the neighborhood watch volunteer.
But NeJame declined and referred them to Mark O’Mara, who is now representing Zimmerman. NeJame has since been hired by CNN to comment on the case.
Zimmerman, who attended high school in Manassas, is charged with second-degree murder for the Feb. 26 shooting of the 17-year-old Martin. Zimmerman said he shot Martin in self-defense after Martin attacked him. Martin was unarmed.
Galluzzo said he had a conflict because of his personal and business relationship with O’Mara.
O’Mara said he requested that Recksiedler step down now because the case is just beginning. Recksiedler was assigned the case after Zimmerman’s arrest last week.
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