Zimmerman won’t argue immunity before trial

Posted at 8:37 PM, Mar 05, 2013
and last updated 2013-03-05 20:37:08-05

(CNN Staff) — George Zimmerman’s attorneys say they’re abandoning their pretrial attempts to argue he’s immune from prosecution in the 2012 shooting death of Trayvon Martin, contending they don’t have time to prepare for that and the trial.

Zimmerman, charged with second-degree murder, says he shot the 17-year-old in self-defense after he saw the young man acting suspiciously in his neighborhood in Sanford, Florida. An April 22 hearing had been expected to determine whether Florida’s self-defense laws shielded him from prosecution.

But Zimmerman attorney Mark O’Mara told a judge Tuesday that he didn’t need time in April for pretrial motions. He told reporters that he still could file a motion for immunity when the trial begins June 10, or later if a civil case arises. But O’Mara indicated that with the jury trial about three months away, it was time to prepare primarily to get Zimmerman acquitted through that venue.

“We don’t have time … to spend two weeks or so” on an immunity hearing, O’Mara said outside a Sanford court Tuesday morning.

“Our focus is to get him to a jury and get acquitted,” he added.

In Session’s Mike Phelan contributed to this report.

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