Florida murder suspect George Zimmerman told a judge yesterday he does not want a “stand your ground” hearing before his four- to six-week trial gets underway June 10, the Orlando Sentinel reports. There were suggestions during a pretrial hearing that the reputation of Trayvon Martin, the unarmed 17-year-old he killed, may be in for a beating. A “stand your ground” hearing before the second-degree-murder trial would have been a trial-like hearing that could have resulted in Zimmerman’s being absolved of criminal and civil liability.
Defense attorney Mark O’Mara said he might file a motion requesting “stand your ground” immunity after the state puts on its last piece of evidence at Zimmerman’s trial. The defense has turned up information about Martin that may damage his reputation, especially from his cellphone, according to O’Mara. Prosecutors are expected to ask the judge to keep those things from the jury. Martin’s family has previously accused people who bring up unflattering things about him — for example, that he was suspended from school after being caught with an empty marijuana baggie — as guilty of character assassination.