Judge in Zimmerman case may have conflict - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

Judge in Zimmerman case may have conflict

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George Zimmerman appeared for his initial hearing Thursday in Seminole County, FL. (Source: CNN) George Zimmerman appeared for his initial hearing Thursday in Seminole County, FL. (Source: CNN)

SEMINOLE COUNTY, FL (RNN) - The judge in the case against George Zimmerman held a status hearing Friday to discuss her connection with a CNN legal analyst.

Circuit Court Judge Jessica Recksiedler spoke with Zimmerman's attorney, Mark O'Mara, on speaker phone inside the courtroom. Recksiedler's husband is partners in a legal firm with Mark Nejame, the legal analyst hired by CNN.

O'Mara said he had not filed a motion asking her to recuse herself at this time but would make a decision by Monday.

Recksiedler asked him to file, if he decides to do so, as soon as possible. She said she disclosed the information immediately to allow it to be addressed.

"If you do choose to file a motion, we do have a bond hearing Friday," she said.

O'Mara said he had concerns with Nejame having access to "exclusive" information because of the connection. He told the judge it could be more problematic going forward with the "media circus" and "community scrutiny" that would continue to follow the case.

"His role is going to be quite significant as an analyst," O'Mara said.

Nejame spoke on CNN following the hearing. He would not comment on whether he believed they would file a motion asking for a new judge, but he said he expected they would have an answer to that by the end of the day.

Nejame also had been contacted by the Zimmerman family, who sought to hire him as the defense attorney. Nejame referred the family to O'Mara.

On Thursday, Zimmerman, 28, made his first court appearance. He was charged with second-degree murder for the shooting death of Trayvon Martin nearly six weeks after it happened.

A hearing has been scheduled for April 20 to determine if bail will be set.

The charging affidavit was released Thursday afternoon with little new information.

The affidavit, filed by prosecutors, stated Zimmerman followed Martin, ignoring the direction of the emergency operator, and confronted the unarmed teen before shooting him. The affidavit goes on to say that Martin was on the phone with a friend, and told her he was being followed.

The case made national headlines after Zimmerman, a self-appointed neighborhood watch captain, admitted he shot Martin. Martin's parents have been joined by civil rights leaders and thousands of supporters rallying for what they believe is justice for Trayvon.

Zimmerman had gone into hiding and had not been widely seen until his court appearance Thursday.

In previous statements, O'Mara said he would consider a plea deal for his client, although he had yet to see the evidence in the case.

"We're not taking any possibilities off the table as far as how this case gets settled," he said.

O'Mara said Zimmerman was tired and frightened, especially with all the media attention surrounding him since the shooting.

"I can interact with him," he said, "I think he's in a good place."

Zimmerman could face life in prison and up to $10,000 in fines.

Copyright 2012 Raycom News Network. All rights reserved. 

Trayvon Martin (SIDEBAR)


SLIDESHOW: Outrage over Trayvon Martin case Trayvon Martin, 17, was shot and killed last month by George Zimmerman, self-appointed captain of an unofficial neighborhood watch, while walking to his father's. More>>

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