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George Zimmerman in court, wants GPS monitor off to travel 'freely'

December 11, 2012|By Amy Hubbard

George Zimmerman, accused in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin, is in court today to ask a judge to remove him from GPS monitoring.

His lawyers say that Zimmerman, free on a $1-million bond while awaiting trial, needs to be able to travel "more freely." He faces a charge of second-degree murder in the Feb. 26 killing of the unarmed 17-year-old.

That's just one among a number of motions set to be heard in a Florida courtroom in connection with the controversial case. Zimmerman's lawyers also want to force prosecutors to hand over additional records from probes of the shooting by state and federal investigators, according to the Orlando Sentinel.

During Tuesday morning's hearing, set to last three hours, the defense is expected to argue that Zimmerman needs the court-ordered GPS monitoring removed "for reasons of his own personal safety and ... to have the ability to assist his defense" by meeting with witnesses, including experts, the Sentinel reported.

Prosecutors have accused Zimmerman of racial profiling before killing the black teenager in Sanford, Fla. Zimmerman says the shooting was an act of self-defense.

Last week, Zimmerman filed a defamation lawsuit against NBCUniversal, saying the media company had manipulated a recording of his 911 call the night of the shooting in an effort to create a "racial powder-keg."

The recording added to the controversy surrounding the case and led to the firing of two South Florida reporters covering the story.

As the Los Angeles Times reported, the lawsuit claims that NBC reporters removed 46 seconds of dialogue between Zimmerman and a 911 dispatcher to create an impression that Zimmerman was suspicious of Martin's conduct because Martin was black.

Zimmerman drew further media attention recently when supporters announced they would try to solicit donations to pay for his legal costs by offering thank-you notes personally signed by the suspect.

The notes, The Times reported, would be sent to donors of the New George Zimmerman Defense Fund -- the latest fundraising effort, which was announced this week on Zimmerman’s official website. In the announcement, Zimmerman’s attorney, Mark O’Mara, said the old fund raised just over $140,000 since it was established in May.

"Currently, the balance of the George Zimmerman Defense Fund is at its lowest, and new funds must be raised to support George's living expenses and legal costs," the announcement said.

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