According to an NBC News report, a judge Thursday rejected a request from a lawyer for George Zimmerman, charged with second-degree murder in the killing of Trayvon Martin last year, to shield the identities of as many as seven witnesses at Zimmerman’s upcoming trial.
George Zimmerman at a pretrial hearing April 30.
The lawyer, Mark O’Mara, said that the seven included one eyewitness to the altercation between Zimmerman and Martin on the night of Feb. 26, 2012.
O’Mara said that the concerns of the potential trial witnesses included “personal concerns for their safety.” He suggested that the judge allow them to testify behind a screen, in view of jurors but not of reporters.
“At this time, the motion is denied,” said the judge, Debra Nelson of Seminole County Circuit Court in Florida.
A prosecutor, John Guy, had opposed the request to shield trial witnesses. He said that it might be “alarming and confusing to a juror and might otherwise highlight their testimony when it shouldn’t be highlighted.”
A lawyer for The Orlando Sentinel had also opposed the request, arguing that lawyers for Zimmerman had not met the high legal standard for restricting public access to a trial proceeding.