Judge Kenneth M. Lester Jr. will now preside over the case for Zimmerman, 28, who is facing 2nd-degree murder charges for the shooting of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin.
During a hearing last Friday Judge Recksiedler informed Zimmerman’s attorney Mark O’Mara that her husband worked for the law firm of Mark NeJame – an attorney who spoke with the Zimmerman family in the past and also agreed to be a media analyst on the case for CNN.
Consequently, O’Mara filed a motion Monday to have the judge disqualified.
In an order made today, Recksiedler said O’Mara’s findings in each basis were “legally insufficient” for disqualification.
However she went on to state, “[e]ven though this Court finds that neither of these, standing alone, is legally sufficient for disqualification, the cumulative effect of the events and the totality of the circumstances provides a legally sufficient basis for this Court to grant the Motion to Disqualify.”
Chief Judge Alan Dickey said the case would have gone to the next judge in the criminal rotation, who is Judge John D. Galluzzo. However, Judge Galluzzo had previously informed Chief Judge Dickey he had a conflict of interest in the case, due to he and O’Mara’s prior business and personal relationship.
Chief Judge Dickey said, “Even though Judge Recksiedler had to grant the motion for disqualification in this case, she is very capable of presiding over this or any other criminal case and I have complete confidence in Judge Lester as well.”
Zimmerman is still set to have a bond hearing on Friday before Judge Lester, which will determine whether or not he can be released from jail. Currently Zimmerman has spent a week in isolation in the Seminole County jail.