George Zimmerman Trial Update: Why Mark O’Mara is Using Self-Defense, not ‘Stand Your Ground’ in Travyon Martin Shooting Case?
Aug 15, 2012 01:04 PM EDT
(Photo : Reuters )
ORLANDO, Fla. - On Tuesday, Mark O'Mara, attorney of George Zimmerman announced that he will not use the Florida State's "Stand Your Ground" law in the murder trial of Travyon Martin, who was shot to death by his client Zimmerman during an aggravated encounter in February.
Zimmerman at the time of the fatal incident was a volunteer watch-guard of a gated community, when he approached 17-year-old Martin after observing some suspicious behavior. Zimmerman claims that the encounter soon turned into a violent affront. In an act to protect himself, Zimmerman fatally fired at the teenager. When he was arrested in February and charged with the second degree murder of Martin, Zimmerman has maintained his defense of self-protection.
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However, O'Mara, Zimmerman's lawyer, who admitted he would use the Florida State's "Stand Your Ground," in a quick change of strategy said Tuesday, that he will not use take shelter in the immunity provided by the statue, but instead would present a clear case of self-defense.
According to the "Stand your Ground," law, if a person is in reasonable fear of danger than he/she could use deadly force, without having to evade the situation. This means that even though a person has the opportunity to escape his/her attacker he/she could choose to stand ground and fight back.
But now, Zimmerman's lawyer told the Huffington Post, "I think the facts seem to support that though we have a stand-your-ground immunity hearing, what this really is, is a simple, self-defense immunity hearing."
The basic argument, O'Mara will make is that Zimmerman was being attacked by the unarmed teenager and fired the shots in an act of pure defense without any opportunity to escape the situation.
A few months ago, when voice recording of Zimmerman's interrogation was released to the public, the 28-year-old was repeatedly heard telling police that he was punched and violently attacked by the victim.
In one of the audio tapes, Zimmerman revealed Martin "jumped out from the bushes and starting punching my face knocking me down. I started screaming for help. I couldn't see. I couldn't breathe...He grabbed my head and started hitting it into the sidewalk," he said. "When he started doing that, I slid into the grass to try to get out from under him. ... I'm still yelling for help," as reported by Christian Science Monitor.
After skipping a routine court appearance on last Wednesday, Mark O'mara told a Florida court on that Zimmerman will seek to dismiss the second-degree murder charges against him.
In July, the Florida judge set Zimmerman's bail for $1 million, after previously revoking a $150,000 bond, for misleading the court about his finances.
He has been released from jail on bond, but under strict conditions including a round the clock GPS monitoring system.
According to Mark O'Mara, Zimmerman's attorney, the trial is likely to start in a year's time.
Zimmerman was arrested in February for the killing of the 17-year-old, Zimmerman who was armed shot Martin after claiming that he was attacked by the teenager and fired in an act of self-defense. 28-year-old Zimmerman has maintained the claim to self-defense from the beginning of the case.