George Zimmerman Asks Judge To Let Him Leave Seminole County

Attorney Mark O'Mara made the request in a motion filed Thursday

By Edward B. Colby
|  Thursday, Aug 23, 2012  |  Updated 8:36 PM EDT
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George Zimmerman in court with his lawyer Mark O'Mara (at left) earlier this year.

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George Zimmerman is asking the judge in his court case to let him leave Seminole County.

Circuit Judge Kenneth Lester Jr.’s bail order requiring him to stay within the central Florida county “has had an ongoing, deleterious effect on his ability to assist in the preparation of his own defense,” Zimmerman’s defense attorney Mark O’Mara wrote.

He asked Lester to modify the conditions of Zimmerman’s release and lift the restriction requiring him to live in Seminole County in a motion filed with the Eighteenth Judicial Circuit Thursday.

“Communications have been unnecessarily limited to telephone and occasional visits by counsel. Mr. Zimmerman must be able to travel to meet with his lawyers, and to attend to various other necessary matters to prepare this matter to move forward,” O’Mara said of his client, who is charged with second-degree murder in the Feb. 26 shooting of Miami Gardens teen Trayvon Martin in Sanford.

Zimmerman, 28, has pleaded not guilty, claiming self-defense. He has remained in Seminole County – which includes Sanford – since he bonded out of jail for a second time on July 6.

“Since shortly after the tragic events of February 26, 2012, Mr. Zimmerman and his entire extended family have had to live in hiding, fearing for their own safety,” O’Mara noted in his motion.

Meantime, prosecutors responded to Zimmerman’s objection to their request for his medical records.

Zimmerman has asked Lester to stop a subpoena for his medical records, saying the request is too broad and will include irrelevant information. A hearing is scheduled for Friday.

In his response filed with the court Thursday, Assistant State Attorney Bernardo de la Rionda wrote that several pages have been provided so far concerning Zimmerman’s treatment at the Altamonte Family Practice on Feb. 27.

At various times Zimmerman and/or his attorney “have asserted that Defendant’s head was repeatedly beaten into the concrete, and that he sustained some injuries to his head, and a broken nose after his struggle with Trayvon Martin on 2/26/2012,” de la Rionda wrote.

“The records provided by Altamonte Family Practice describe what Defendant claims happened when he came into contact with Trayvon Martin, as well (as) treatment administered by a physician’s assistant,” and they refer to Zimmerman being informed that he should be seen by an ear, nose and throat doctor, which he refused to do, de la Rionda wrote.

But, he noted, “The records provided do not include any notes, photographs, X-rays, CT scan, MRI or anything else related to his treatment that day. The State wants to make sure that no other records exist.”

The medical records would be made public if they are released to prosecutors under Florida’s discovery rules. Zimmerman has asked Lester to review the records and decide which, if any, should be released.

De la Rionda closed his response by bringing up two reasons why the records, if obtained by prosecutors, might not be subject to public disclosure, however.

Complete Coverage of the George Zimmerman and Trayvon Martin Case

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