Judge in Zimmerman Case Disqualifies Herself

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Written By admin at Wednesday, April 18th, 2012

A Florida judge disqualified herself from the state’s case against George Zimmerman, who is charged with second-degree murder in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin.

Associated Press
Circuit Judge Jessica Recksiedler

Seminole County Circuit Judge Jessica Recksiedler stepped aside at the request of Mr. Zimmerman’s attorney, Mark O’Mara. Judge Recksiedler’s husband, Jason Recksiedler, is a partner in the law firm of Mark NeJame, an attorney who said he had been asked by contacts of Mr. Zimmerman to take on his case before referring it to Mr. O’Mara. Mr. NeJame is now a paid CNN legal analyst commenting on the case.

Judge Recksiedler, 39 years old, said those facts by themselves didn’t require her to step down. But the “cumulative effect of the events and the totality of the circumstances,” formed sufficient basis for disqualification, she wrote in an order, parts of which were excerpted in a statement by the court. The case file is closed to the public, by court order.

Another judge on the court, John Galluzzo, had also taken himself out of rotation, because of his prior business and personal relationship with Mr. O’Mara, the court said in the statement.

The job now falls to Judge Kenneth Lester Jr., a 15-year veteran of the court. Judge Recksiedler was elected to the bench in 2010.

Mr. Zimmerman, 28 years old, was charged in the fatal shooting of Mr. Martin, following a confrontation that prosecutors allege was provoked when Mr. Zimmerman aggressively pursued Mr. Martin. Mr. Zimmerman, through his lawyer, has said he acted in self-defense.

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