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Wednesday
Apr182012

George Zimmerman Judge Expected to Step Aside

Seminole County Sheriff`s Office(SANFORD, Fla.) -- The Florida judge tapped to preside over George Zimmerman's trial for the shooting death of Trayvon Martin is set to recuse herself over her ties to a prominent television legal analyst, ABC News has learned.

Circuit Judge Jessica Recksiedler, one of four possible judges to oversee what Zimmerman's attorneys and the state expect to be a trial process that could last well into 2013, is married to an attorney who works in the same law firm as Mark NeJame, a legal analyst for CNN who has been outspoken about the case.

It's the latest in a series of twists in the case, which began with the original prosecutor, Norman Wolfinger, recusing himself.  That was followed by weeks in which Zimmerman was in hiding, and an announcement from his legal team saying they would no longer be representing him.

Zimmerman, who is now represented by Mark O'Mara, is facing second degree murder charges, which could carry a life sentence for the 28-year-old.  O'Mara filed a motion on Monday for Judge Recksiedler's removal.

A bond hearing is scheduled on Friday for Zimmerman in Sanford, Fla.  But legal analysts tell ABC News bail is seldom, if ever, granted in second degree murder cases.

Called an Arthur Case in Florida, the prosecution will have to demonstrate that to some degree the defendant committed a crime and that the presumption of guilt is great.  Ultimately, the judge makes a decision on whether the defendant should be released pending trial.

Zimmerman claims he shot Martin, 17, in self defense.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio







ABC News Radio