Florida Appeals Court Orders New Judge for Accused Shooter of Trayvon Martin
Posted Aug 30, 2012 6:31 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss
A Florida appeals court has ruled that George Zimmerman should get a new judge in his prosecution for the shooting death of teen Trayvon Martin.
Zimmerman’s lawyers had claimed Judge Kenneth Lester should be removed from the case because of “gratuitous, disparaging remarks” he made when he raised bond to $1 million. Lester had said Zimmerman “flouted the system” when he failed to report outside donations. The judge had also raised the possibility of contempt proceedings for providing misleading information.
The appeals court said judges in Florida are required to grant motions for disqualification, as long as they are “legally sufficient.” There is no need to determine the accuracy of the allegations in the motion. “While this is admittedly a close call, upon careful review we find that the allegations, taken together, meet the threshold test of legal sufficiency,” the court said.