The Cutline

George Zimmerman attorney wants judge in murder case tossed and records to remain sealed

Dylan Stableford, Yahoo News
The Cutline

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George Zimmerman, center, stands with a Seminole County deputy and his attorney, Mark O'Mara, during a court hearing …

The attorney for George Zimmerman filed a motion late Monday asking the court to recuse the judge in the case over a possible conflict of interest.

Mark O'Mara, Zimmerman's attorney, requested that Seminole Circuit Judge Jessica Recksiedler be removed after she revealed that her husband works with Mark NeJame, a CNN legal analyst. Last week, after O'Mara agreed to take Zimmerman as a client, NeJame revealed that he had been approached by Zimmerman—the 28-year-old neighborhood watchman accused of second-degree murder in the killing of Trayvon Martin—about representing him. NeJame declined, but suggested five lawyers, including O'Mara, to Zimmerman.

On Friday, Recksiedler said she would consider stepping aside.

Meanwhile, several news organizations—including CNN, USA Today and the Miami Herald—petitioned the court to reverse an order sealing records in the case.

O'Mara told CNN Monday he wants them sealed to prevent the steady flow of leaks that have already marred the case.

"It's an overall philosophy of trying to keep the information flow concentrated within the court system," O'Mara said. "It's much better handled there. And, again, if information like this, even a police report with names on it, gets out, then my concern is that they're going to be spoken to. They're going to be questioned. There's going to be four or five different statements from this one witness, let's say, and then we have to sift through all of that to try and get to what is the truth."

O'Mara said he's also concerned about the safety of the witnesses.

"My concern is that with the publicity this case has gotten so far, and with the interest from all sorts of people," said O'Mara, "there may be a concern for some safety to some of those people, should addresses be given out."

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