Lawyers in the second-degree murder trial of George Zimmerman in the death of Trayvon Martin are now battling over when the court proceedings should actually begin.
The attorney for Zimmerman is seeking to delay the trial, saying his team needs more time to prepare. The lawyer, Mark O’Mara, has also charged that the prosecutors have been slow to make evidence available to the defense.
In response, state attorney Bernie de la Rionda has asked the judge to deny O’Mara’s request to delay the trial, which is now scheduled to begin in June. De la Rionda said the defense "wants the state to do its job." A hearing on the issue will occur Tuesday.
The Zimmerman defense team has indicated that is running short on funds in representing the former neighborhood watch volunteer.
CNN reported that O’Mara has stated that the defense team has used up more than $300,000 that was raised by donations from sympathetic people. It also reported that O’Mara said he will not be able to prepare for the trial adequately if more funds are not forthcoming.
Zimmerman pled not guilty in the murder trial of Martin, the 17-year-old, unarmed high school student who was shot while walking in a gated community in Sanford, Florida, near Orlando.
Zimmerman has insisted he shot the youth in self-defense, saying that Martin had accosted him. He is seeking to invoke Florida’s controversial "Stand Your Ground" law, which enables residents to use deadly force if they perceive themselves to be in imminent danger.
Meanwhile, the Trayvon Martin Foundation will be holding a number of activities in the coming week, including a gathering of community leaders in Sanford who will pray and commemorate what would have been the youth’s 18th birthday on Feb. 5. There will also be meetings of community activists.
BET National News - Keep up to date with breaking news stories from around the nation, including headlines from the hip hop and entertainment world. Click here to subscribe to our newsletter.
(Photo: Joe Burbank/Orlando Sentinel-Pool/Getty Images)