Photo: via MyFoxOrlando
A judge refused Tuesday to give George Zimmerman more freedom while he awaits trial, despite his lawyer’s impassioned arguments that Zimmerman has been a model defendant.Zimmerman and his attorney Mark O’Mara were back in court today arguing that the former neighbourhood watchman doesn’t need to be constantly monitored via a GPS device because he has always cooperated with the court and poses no flight risk.
During the hearing that was livestreamed by MyFoxOrlando, O’Mara claimed his client is often threatened and the restrictive nature of his bond — he has to be monitored by a GPS and has to stay in Seminole County — makes it unnecessarily difficult to keep him safe.
Zimmerman has been required to wear the monitoring device since the court revoked his bond back in June after it came to light he and his wife lied about their finances to score him a lower bond.
But Zimmerman “has always evidenced a willingness to cooperate” and shouldn’t be blamed for someone else’s lies to the court, O’Mara said.
O’Mara added that his client has to live in hiding and has received a ton of threats, leading his defence team to fear Zimmerman will be hurt before he has a chance to appear in court.
But prosecutors counter that no defendant who has courted media attention as much as Zimmerman has a right to complain about a lack of anonymity.
“My recollection is that this defendant appeared on national TV,” prosecutor Bernie de la Rionda said.
Plus, the defence’s argument would actually cause more harm than good, de la Rionda claimed.
“Isn’t the defendant safer if law enforcement knows exactly where he is?” the prosecutor claimed.
Ultimately, Circuit Judge Debra Nelson sided with the state and denied Zimmerman’s motion.
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