George Zimmerman’s Attorney Mark O’Mara Files Motion to Disqualify Judge Kenneth Lester in Murder Trial of Trayvon Martin
George Zimmerman’s attorney files motion to disqualify judge citing that his client cannot get a fair trail …
Mark O’Mara, the defense attorney for George Zimmerman filed a 17 page motion on Friday with the Seminole County Circuit Court to have Judge Kenneth Lester disqualified from the trial. The defense is looking to have Judge Lester removed from the second degree murder trail of Trayvon Martin citing his fear that he will not be given a fair trial. O’Mara questions the “impartiality” of the judge in the trial and going forward. Heck, if there was impartiality Zimmerman would not have been arrested or indicted.
Impartial? Can Judge Lester preside over a fair trial?
The entire motion can be read HERE (pdf).
The motion also said the court is not weighing any evidence of Zimmerman’s innocence in the case when determining bond, other than to say “the only issue is the viability of the defendant’s self-defense/Stand Your Ground claim.” However, they also accuse the judge of not discussing that issue either.
The motion also said:
“The court departed from its role as an impartial, objective minister of justice when it stated on two occasions in its order that in the court’s personal opinion there is probable cause to believe that the defendant committed a violation of Florida Statute 903.035(3), a third degree felony punishable by five years in prison. This is tantamount to instructing the state that Mr. Zimmerman should be prosecuted for this offense.”
Attorney O’Mara’s motion stated that the judge’s comments during the second bond hearing for George Zimmerman were so over the top, bias, self-serving manipulations, gratuitous and disparaging remarks about Mr. Zimmerman’s character that he, judge Lester, could not sit on the bench in this murder trial with impartiality.
I would tend to agree. I have a bit stunned when the judge acted in such a manner during just the bond hearing phase of the trial. O’Mara asserted that the judge and court “departed from its role as an impartial, objective minister of justice” and should therefore be removed from the case. I would follow up by saying that there has been little in this trial against Zimmerman that has been impartial.
In Friday’s motion, O’Mara wrote that Lester’s order was indicative of a bias against Zimmerman, saying that the judge’s statements were “disingenuous, self-serving manipulations.”
“In said order, the court made gratuitous, disparaging remarks about Mr. Zimmerman’s character, advocated for Mr. Zimmerman to be prosecuted for additional crimes; offers a personal opinion about the evidence for said prosecution; and continues to hold over Mr. Zimmerman’s head the threat of future contempt proceedings,” the motion read.
O’Mara asserted that the judge and court “departed from its role as an impartial, objective minister of justice” and should therefore be removed from the case.
UPDATE I: So will Judge Lester grant the motion and recuse himself from this trial? If everyone remembers correctly, the first judge in this case did the very same. Judge Jessica Recksiedler recusedherself from the case because of a much less conflict of interest than what Lester is being accused of. What irony, in a case that is supposed to be about a ginned up bias that the defendant was supposed to have against Trayvon Martin, it is the judge that is being questioned of his bias.