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Prosecutor Files Evidence, Witness List in George Zimmerman Case

6:07 AM, May 15, 2012   |    comments
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Court paperwork filed late Monday offered a window into evidence in the trial of George Zimmerman, the Florida neighborhood watch captain facing second-degree murder charges in the shooting death of teenager Trayvon Martin, the Orlando Sentinel reported.

The documents filed with the Seminole County Court by Special Prosecutor Angela Corey listed witnesses the state will call for questioning, as well as other evidence to be presented, including video from the night of the shooting, crime scene photographs and 56 audio-recorded statements, including one from a witness who called 911 the night of the shooting, according to the Sentinel.

Many of the witness names were redacted from the eight-page filing, it said, though the names of family members of both victim and shooter who will be called were made public, including Martin's parents and Zimmerman's father.

The documents also included the names of 18 police officers from Sanford, the Florida town where the shooting took place, and lead investigator Chris Serino, the Sentinel said.

Martin, who was unarmed, was shot and killed by Zimmerman on Feb. 26 during an encounter in a gated community where Martin was staying with his father.

At the time, police said that Zimmerman claimed he had acted in self-defense, and no charges were filed for weeks after the shooting.

The case sparked a national debate over race, justice and gun rights. Martin, 17, was black, and Zimmerman, 28, is the son of a Hispanic mother and Caucasian father.

Access to evidence in the case has been the source of contention.

Both the prosecution and the defense have said they want to keep some or most of the evidence sealed from the public, arguing that they were concerned about safety of witnesses.

If the court allows evidence to remain sealed, a number of news organizations, including the Orlando Sentinel and NBC, are expected to challenge the decision.

The prosecutor's court filing came shortly before the clerk's office was preparing to close.

Late Monday, Mark O'Mara, Zimmerman's attorney, confirmed on Zimmerman's web site that he received the discovery. The site is operated by O'Mara on behalf of the George Zimmerman Legal Defense Fund.

In a statement last week, O'Mara said he may file a motion to redact information in the discovery, therefore delaying public access to the documents. He said during a hearing in late April he was concerned for the safety of the witnesses.

The court public information officer told NBC she would release the state's witness list in the morning.


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