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Northern Va. Police Officer Testifies in George Zimmerman Trial

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Scott Kearns, of the Prince William County Police Department, answers questions during the George Zimmerman trial in Seminole circuit court, July 3, 2013 in Sanford, Fla. Zimmerman is charged with second-degree murder for the February 2012 shooting death of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin. (Photo credit: Jacob Langston-Pool/Getty Images)

Scott Kearns, of the Prince William County Police Department, answers questions during the George Zimmerman trial in Seminole circuit court, July 3, 2013 in Sanford, Fla. Zimmerman is charged with second-degree murder for the February 2012 shooting death of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin. (Photo credit: Jacob Langston-Pool/Getty Images)

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SANFORD, Fla. (CBSDC/AP) — A police officer from Northern Virginia testified Wednesday in the trial of accused murderer George Zimmerman.

Lt. Scott Kearns, an operations officer with the Prince William County Police Department, was called to the stand Wednesday morning in Seminole circuit court in Sanford, Fla., as the prosecution presented evidence showing Zimmerman’s aspirations of becoming a police officer.

Kearns told the courtroom that Zimmerman had applied for a job with Prince William County police in July 2009. Kearns said Zimmerman wasn’t initially hired because of a less-than-stellar credit history.

Kearns further explained that job applications are destroyed after three years but that the department does retain some information.

Zimmerman is charged with second-degree murder for the February 2012 shooting death of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin. Martin was black; Zimmerman identifies as Hispanic. The case sparked nationwide protests and touched off a debate about race and self-defense.

Zimmerman, 29, has pleaded not guilty and claims he acted in self-defense. Prosecutors have sought to portray him as a vigilante who profiled the teen as he walked home from a convenience store on a rainy night.

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(TM and Copyright 2013 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2013 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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