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Judge released from Zimmerman case

4:15 PM, Aug 29, 2012   |    comments
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SANFORD, Fla. (WESH) -- The second-degree murder case against George Zimmerman is getting another new judge.

In a ruling late Wednesday afternoon, the Fifth District Court of Appeal found that the motion he filed to disqualify Judge Ken Lester was in their words "legally sufficient."

Zimmerman was asking Lester to recuse himself, arguing the judge's ruling on Zimmerman's latest bond request shows a lack of objectivity toward Zimmerman.

In that ruling, Lester wrote that Zimmerman was "flouting" and "manipulating" the legal system.

In his order, Lester expressed concerned that Zimmerman might be hatching a plan to flee the country to avoid prosecution, something Zimmerman's defense strongly denies.

It was a 2-1 decision with the dissenting judge saying Lester had not "crossed the line" and should not be removed.

The two judges in the majority admitted in their opinion that this was "a close call," but given the allegations Zimmerman presented in total, it did meet the threshold of legal sufficiency to have Lester step down.

They have ordered the chief circuit judge to appoint a successor.

Zimmerman's attorney, Mark O'Mara, released a statement after the decision.

"We appreciate the appellate court reviewing our petition and we believe it is the correct decision," read the statement.

WESH

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