A judge ruled Wednesday that prosecutors in the George Zimmeraman second-degree murder trial can use his criminal justice course work as evidence to show he had more knowledge of Florida law than he let on.
Prosecutors say Zimmerman’s criminal justice course work — as well as a police department job application that will also be admitted into evidence — is relevant to the case involving the shooting death of Trayvon Martin.
In an interview with Fox News last year, Zimmerman said he didn’t know about Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” law when he shot and killed the unarmed 17-year-old in February 2012. That law — which allows people to use force in order to defend themselves — led to the delay in Zimmerman’s arrest last year.
Zimmerman has taken criminal justice courses at Seminole State College as well as applied with a police force in 2009 and to ride-along in a police vehicle in 2010. This background suggests Zimmerman may have had enough knowledge about the law to make himself look good when questioned by police, prosecutors argue.
“He has the education and the ability and the understanding and at least the background to be able to discuss, when he is confronted with police, to both understand what it is they might be trying to do and also what it is he might say in order to address the situation in the light most favourable to him,” prosecutor Richard Mantei said in court, according to CBS News.
Zimmerman’s attorneys attempted to block the evidence from court, calling it irrelevant.
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