Court: Zimmerman judge should disqualify himself
Appeals judges • The panel agrees with attorney who argued judge Lester had a bias.
Published: August 29, 2012 06:27PM
Updated: August 29, 2012 06:27PM
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In this Friday, June 29, 2012 file photo, George Zimmerman, left, and attorney Don West appear before Circuit Judge Kenneth R. Lester Jr., during a bond hearing at the Seminole County Criminal Justice Center in Sanford, Fla. (AP Photo/Orlando Sentinel, Joe Burbank, Pool)

Orlando, Fla. • A three-judge panel in Florida has ruled that a former neighborhood watch leader charged in the fatal shooting of teenager Trayvon Martin should be granted a new judge in his case.

Florida’s Fifth District Court of Appeal ruled Wednesday that Judge Kenneth Lester should enter a motion to disqualify himself in George Zimmerman’s second-degree murder case. Zimmerman’s attorney Mark O’Mara asked the court earlier this month to overturn a previous ruling by Lester not to leave the case.

One of the three judges dissented in the ruling.

O’Mara had argued that Lester should disqualify himself after he said the judge made disparaging remarks about Zimmerman’s character and advocated for additional charges against him in setting his $1 million bond in July.

Zimmerman remains free on bail. He’s pleaded not guilty.