Zimmerman Case Gets New Judge

A new judge was assigned Thursday to preside over the case of George Zimmerman, charged with second-degree murder for his fatal shooting of unarmed teen Trayvon Martin, after the previous judge formally disqualified himself. Judge Debra Nelson was named to preside over the case, after a Florida appeals court ruled Wednesday that Seminole County Circuit Court Judge Kenneth Lester Jr. should disqualify himself. Lester did that Thursday, after Zimmerman's lawyer Mark O'Mara had earlier argued that Lester should do so, charging the judge had made disparaging remarks about his client’s character and advocated for additional charges in setting his $1 million bond in July. Zimmerman, 28, has pleaded not guilty in the Feb. 26 shooting in Sanford, Fla., claiming to have fatally shot the 17-year-old in self-defense. Nelson is the third judge to take up Zimmerman’s case. The first judge, Judge Jessica Recksiedler, recused herself shortly after the proceedings began in April.

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