Judge in Zimmerman's Florida trial will not step down

August 1, 2012 18:56


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ORLANDO - A Florida judge on Wednesday rejected a motion asking him to step down from the murder trial of George Zimmerman, the neighborhood watch captain who killed unarmed black teenager Trayvon Martin, ruling the defense request was "legally insufficient."

Zimmerman's lawyer Mark O'Mara, in a motion filed July 13 asking the judge to step down, accused Judge Kenneth Lester of bias, citing what he called "gratuitous" and "disparaging remarks" Lester made in a July 5 ruling raising Zimmerman's bond from $150,000 to $1 million.

The ruling followed a bond hearing held after prosecutors accused Zimmerman and his wife Shellie, who has been charged with perjury, of lying to the court about their finances.

In his order dismissing the motion for him to recuse himself, Lester wrote that, by law, he must assume O'Mara's allegations were true.

"The court is not permitted to deny the allegations supporting the motion as untrue, reject them as unfounded, or comment upon them at all," Lester wrote in his order.

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