Attorney: Prosecutors Are Dragging Their Feet On Turning Over Evidence
ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — Attorneys for former neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman said in a motion Monday that prosecutors are dragging their feet on turning over evidence.
Zimmerman’s attorneys said prosecutors aren’t turning information over in a timely manner and are providing some material in a format that’s useless for defense experts to examine. They’re asking for monthly hearings to manage the turnover of evidence from prosecutors to defense lawyers.
“The state’s approach to discovery has been to require the defense to figure out what the state has failed to provide and then ask for it rather than fulfilling the state’s legal obligation to provide complete and timely discovery,” attorney Donald West said in the motion.
A spokeswoman for the State Attorney’s Office didn’t immediately respond to an email and phone call seeking comment.
Zimmerman is charged with second-degree murder in the fatal shooting of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin during a confrontation in a central Florida gated community last February.
Zimmerman’s attorneys also asked prosecutors for cellphone photos taken by a witness and a police officer on the night of the shooting.
Zimmerman’s latest filings come less than a week after his attorneys asked prosecutors for any evidence that might suggest Martin’s civil rights were violated by Zimmerman. Martin was black, and Zimmerman has a Peruvian mother and a white father.
Martin’s parents and supporters claim that the unarmed teenager was targeted because he was black and that Zimmerman started the confrontation that led to the shooting. But Zimmerman’s family members have denied that he was racist in anyway.
The U.S. Justice Department launched a probe into the initial handling of the investigation after Zimmerman wasn’t arrested for 44 days after the shooting. Zimmerman’s attorneys also asked for information on any probe into the Sanford Police Department’s handling of racial tension in Sanford after Martin’s death.
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