A judge in Florida is expected to decide whether Trayvon Martin gunman George Zimmerman will go free ahead of his trial. NBC’s Kurt Gregory reports.
SANFORD, Fla. — A Florida judge is expected to rule Thursday on whether George Zimmerman, the man who shot and killed teenager Trayvon Martin, can be freed on bail for a second time ahead of his trial.
Judge Kenneth Lester finished writing his ruling on Zimmerman over the July 4th holiday, a spokesperson for Seminole County Court told NBC News Thursday morning, and it was to be made public at some point Thursday.
Zimmerman, 28, has been in jail since last month, when prosecutors told the judge that Zimmerman hid from the court that he raised $135,000 in online donations. Lester then revoked the $150,000 bail he had granted Zimmerman on April 20.
Zimmerman is charged with second-degree murder in the death of Martin, 17, who was killed as he walked through a gated community in Sanford, Fla., on Feb. 26. Zimmerman claimed he shot the teen out of self-defense after Martin punched him and banged his head against the sidewalk.
In last Friday’s three-hour bail hearing, the defense lawyers and the prosecutors offered more details on what happened the night Zimmerman, a neighborhood watch volunteer, encountered Martin.
“The reality of what happened that night is that my client had his nose broken -– or fractured -– and it was bleeding all over the place,” Mark O’Mara said, according to NBC News. He presented a medical report written by a physician’s assistant the day after the shooting that said Zimmerman’s nose was “likely broken.”
Martin “got shot because — and he was killed because – of his own doing,” O’Mara added.
But the prosecution argued Zimmerman had jumped to conclusions about Martin, who was returning to his father’s girlfriend’s home carrying iced tea and Skittles that he had gone out to purchase in the rain that night. Martin was unarmed.
“The state’s contention is what he, the defendant, was doing is he was targeting; profiling,” Assistant State Attorney Bernie de la Rionda said. “He was trying to act like a police officer, but he wasn’t obviously authorized to act like a police officer.”
Zimmerman has pleaded not guilty to the second-degree murder charge. His wife, Shellie, was charged with perjury after investigators discovered she had helped cover up the $135,000 the couple raised to help pay for legal fees and living expenses.
There is no indication when Zimmerman’s murder trial might take place.
NBC News’ James Novogrod contributed reporting for this report from Sanford, Fla. msnbc.com’s Elizabeth Chuck contributed from New York.
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