April 19, 2012
Seminole County Circuit Judge Jessica Recksiedler on Wednesday disqualified herself from hearing the case against George Zimmerman. Recksiedler stepped aside because of her husband's connection to a lawyer who will be a TV commentator on the case against Zimmerman, who is accused of second degree murder in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin in Sanford in February. One other judge in the circuit has also said he has a conflict, putting Judge Kenneth M. Lester, Jr., in line to preside over the case, which will be one of the most watched in the nation this year. "Even though Judge Recksiedler had to grant the motion for disqualification in this case, she is very capable of presiding over this or any other criminal case and I have complete confidence in Judge Lester as well," the circuit's chief judge, Alan Dickey, said in a statement. Recksiedler's husband is a law partner of Mark NeJame who has been hired by CNN to provide analysis of the Zimmerman case, and who recommended Zimmerman's attorney to the defendant. NeJame was approached by Zimmerman to defend him, but NeJame had already been hired by CNN, and recommended several lawyers, including Mark O'Mara, who agreed to represent Zimmerman.
ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) - April 18, 2012 - 3:15pm
The judge presiding over the Trayvon Martin shooting case has removed herself after George Zimmerman's attorney said she had a possible conflict of interest.
Florida Circuit Judge Jessica Recksiedler recused herself Wednesday because of a potential conflict that relates to her husband.
He 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.
Judge Kenneth M. Lester Jr. will preside over the case.
Zimmerman 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.
April 18, 2012 -
A Seminole County circuit judge who was assigned to hear the second degree murder case against Trayvon Martin shooter George Zimmerman will rule on a motion to disqualify her by the end of the week, a spokeswoman said. Zimmerman's lawyer filed the motion because Circuit Judge Jessica Recksiedler's husband is a law partner of Mark NeJame who has been hired by CNN to provide analysis of the Zimmerman case, and who recommended Zimmerman's attorney to the defendant. NeJame was approached by Zimmerman to defend him, but NeJame had been hired by CNN, and recommended several lawyers, including Mark O'Mara, who agreed to represent Zimmerman. Recksiedler disclosed after she was assigned the case that her husband works with NeJame, and O'Mara filed the motion to have her released from the case. A statement released Tuesday by the Eighteenth Judicial Circuit said this week Recksiedler was on temporary assignment this week to hear oral arguments on the Fifth District Court of Appeal in Daytona Beach and would issue a written order on Zimmerman's motion to disqualify her no later than Friday, when there is a bond hearing scheduled in the case.
SANFORD, Fla. (AP) --
The neighborhood watch volunteer who is charged with second-degree murder for fatally shooting Trayvon Martin is asking a judge to step down after she revealed a potential conflict of interest last week.
George Zimmerman's attorney filed the request Monday in Seminole County Circuit Court. Attorney Mark O'Mara told reporters afterward that he wanted the issue to be addressed now rather than later if there ends up being a conflict.
Circuit Judge Jessica Recksiedler's potential conflict comes from her husband, who works with Orlando attorney Mark NeJame.
Zimmerman's family first approached NeJame about representing Zimmerman. NeJame declined and referred the neighborhood watch volunteer to O'Mara. NeJame also is serving as a CNN legal analyst on the case.
Zimmerman is pleading not guilty and claims he shot in self-defense.