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Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Sarges Update: George Zimmerman wants delay of trial

SANFORD – A judge has denied George Zimmerman's request to delay his trial in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin. The trial remains set for June 10.
Zimmerman is the former Neighborhood Watch volunteer charged with second-degree murder for shooting Trayvon, who was unarmed, after calling police and describing him as suspicious.
The day's events began in front of the Seminole County Courthouse with family members and supporters singing "Happy Birthday" to Trayvon, who would have turned 18 today.
The legal arguments began at 9 a.m. Defense attorney Mark O'Mara acknowledged the teen's birthday at the start of the hearing, stating that "no matter what, a tragedy occurred."
Next up, O'Mara asked the judge to grant the defense access to purchase records from a 7-Eleven where Trayvon shopped the night of the shooting. The state did not object, and the judge granted the motion.
O'Mara also wanted Zimmerman's trial delayed. O'Mara argued he can't possibly be ready.
"The only additional argument is I need more time," O'Mara said in court today.
Prosecutor Bernie de la Rionda says O'Mara doesn't deserve any more time.
"It's February and the trial's set for June," he said, adding that some delays that have happened so far have been the defense's fault.
"Sometimes we set aside days of depositions, and they're canceled.. that's frustrating," de la Rionda said.
The judge noted that both parties had earlier estimated they would be ready by June. O'Mara's issues, the Circuit Judge Debra Nelson said, don't appear to be "insurmountable."
The parties then moved on to other pieces of evidence O'Mara argues he needs.
The attorneys argued about data downloaded from Trayvon's phone. O'Mara has said there's information the state is withholding.
Nelson told the state to provide a full chain of custody report for the phone, indicating which tests were conducted where.
O'Mara also asked the judge to order the state to provide further information on the social media accounts of Witness 8.
She's expected to be one of the state's most important witnesses because she says she heard the first words of the confrontation between Trayvon and Zimmerman.
The judge ruled that the defense can get the social media information through a "mini" deposition, before the witness is formally deposed.
Once the hearing is over, there'll be another rally. At 2 p.m. two groups that were at odds in the days immediately following Trayvon's shooting – Sanford police and the NAACP – are among the sponsors of a peace and anti-gun violence rally in Goldsboro, an historically black Sanford neighborhood.
Sanford's mayor, city manager, plus attorneys for Trayvon's family are to speak. So are community leaders.

Sheriff of Tent City and inmate pink says no charges

Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio

It looks like Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio has become a victim of credit-card fraud.
Sheriff officials said Monday that Arpaio's credit-card information was stolen and used to make a $291 transaction at a Chicago grocery store last weekend.
Arpaio says he hasn't been to Chicago in years and his credit-card company alerted him to possible fraudulent activity.
The Arizona Republic says it's still unclear whether Arpaio's credit card was stolen or if the transaction was made by another means.
He says his card has been canceled to prevent any further fraudulent use as authorities try to figure out what happened.