Judge steps down in Trayvon Martin case
Judge Jessica Recksiedler has stepped down from presiding in the Trayvon Martin murder case due to a possible conflict of interest.
Zimmerman, 28, has been charged with second-degree murder in the death of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin.
Zimmerman was a neighborhood watchman who fatally shot Martin in their gated community of Sanford on Feb. 26. Zimmerman claims he acted in self-defense, even though Martin was not armed.
The incident led to debates about race relations since Martin was black and Zimmerman was white and Hispanic. Nationwide protests led to his arrest last week.
Recksiedler was assigned to be the judge, but Zimmerman’s attorney, Mark O’Mara, requested that she step down because her husband is a partner in a law firm which includes attorney Mark NeJame, who is currently providing CNN with analysis on the case. She issued a statement Wednesday saying that she would withdraw from the case.
Zimmerman is currently being held in Seminole County Jail, with a bail hearing set for Friday.
“The goal is to have a new judge in place in order to make that hearing,” court spokeswoman Michelle Kennedy said.
However, Recksiedler’s immediate replacement, Judge John D. Galluzzo, informed the court that another conflict of interest may emerge since he also has a personal and professional relationship with O’Mara.
Judge Kenneth R. Lester, Jr. is now the likely choice to preside over the case.