George Zimmerman was back in court on Trayvon Martin's 18th birthday Tues., Feb. 5, and the shooting suspect's attorneys acknowledged the milestone in his opening statements to the court according to this news report.
Mark O'Mara followed that compassionate acknowledgement by asking the court for several things, including the purchase records from 7-Eleven, where Trayvon Martin shopped right before his death.
Video coverage of the hearing showed that O'Mara also made requests for the discovery items the prosecution is supposed to turn over expediently in such a trial, but that he feels have not been forthcoming, like access to Witness 8 for deposition purposes, as well as the Martin family.
Florida State Prosecutor Bernie de la Rionda conceded to the judge that he could supply the purchase records, but denied he had delayed providing discovery evidence to the defense.
However, one piece of discovery was revealed to have just been provided on the eve of the hearing before judge Debra S. Nelson, and that was information pertaining to cell phone analysis done on Trayvon Martin's phone after the shooting.
This was yet another piece of discovery information O'Mara had requested and felt had been withheld an unusual amount of time, forcing him to request additional time to prepare for trial, but which was denied in today's hearing.
The judge pushed the prosecution to have the chain of custody and details about the cell phone data retrieval process be prepared for defense no later than Fri., Feb. 8, to which de la Rionda promised to comply this time.
De la Rionda admitted to the judge that he could see why the defense would complain about the time required for him to have that analysis to Mark O'Mara, stating that, "I will admit that it was time consuming to break into" the cell phone, saying part of that was due to the inability of the Florida Department of Law Enforcement to retrieve the data in-house.
He says it required sending the phone to the Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Office to handle, since no one in Florida was capable of getting the phone unlocked in order to retrieve the data. But O' Mara pointed out that when he asked who was going to handle the extraction of information the prosecutor testily told him he couldn't tell him that.
The phone was also sent to Celebrate in New Jersey for additional information retrieval help according to de la Rionda in the Tuesday court hearing.
Fox News reported that the Florida judge rejected delaying trial for George Zimmerman based upon the complaints of his defense attorney regarding slow discovery material delivery and lack of access to depose witnesses. Nelson said that the problems O' Mara was having getting evidence was "not insurmountable."
However, Judge Debra S. Nelson did play mediator, advising both lawyers to set up an approved site where Witness 8 can provide proper identification and confer with the prosecution and defense on a conference call about her Facebook and Twitter IDs and passwords, so social media communications can be reviewed on the case.
In addition, the Trayvon Martin family must make its members available for defense depositions in a timely manner as well. The next court hearing is scheduled for April 2. The trial date is still on the books for June 10.
Top News Examiner Radell Smith will continue to bring the latest news and court motion findings on the case. Follow those stories as they are published by clicking on the subscribe link above, or liking her on Facebook.