Lester issued an order Aug. 1 stating Attorney Mark O’Mara and Zimmerman’s request to disqualify him as a judge in the case was “legally insufficient.” In their request Zimmerman stated he believed he would not receive a fair trial if Lester continued to preside over the case.
Without the appeal to that decision, O’Mara said during a press conference Monday, the defense team would waive any rights to another judge in the future.
“We’re not going to take any chance of shortcutting my client’s constitutional rights,” said O’Mara.
He also said he expects the appellate court to handle the request as quickly as possible.
As far as the defense team’s current plan, O’Mara said they are preparing to begin depositions for the case to eventually use in an immunity hearing.
The hearing would determine whether or not Zimmerman acted in self-defense when he shot and killed 17-year-old Trayvon Martin on Feb. 26. If a judge determines he did act in self-defense, Zimmerman’s second-degree murder charge would be dismissed.
Per Florida Statute, Zimmerman would also be immune from any civil prosecution surrounding the case.
O’Mara said many have associated the case with the “Stand Your Ground” law, which states people do not have the duty to retreat when they have a fear of death or great bodily harm to themselves by someone else.
Zimmerman, O’Mara said, had no opportunity to retreat since evidence shows Martin was on top of Zimmerman, beating him.
“I just don’t want to get caught up calling it ‘Stand Your Ground’ when it truly is self-defense,” he said.
To prepare for such a hearing, however, could take up to five months O’Mara said.
In the meantime the defense team plans to request that Zimmerman’s bond terms be modified so he may leave the county. Costs for security to keep Zimmerman in the area, said O’Mara, are cutting deeply into the defense fund.
“Seminole County is the most dangerous place for him to be,” said O’Mara. “We just want him safe.”
Zimmerman, who is living with his wife Shellie, cannot leave his safe house for fear someone may come after him.
“He really has to live as a hermit unfortunately,” said O’Mara. “He lives with a deep-rooted fear for his life.”
Because of this, Zimmerman cannot maintain employment and may eventual ask to be declared indigent – forcing the state to pay for his legal costs.
O’Mara said, “I don’t think that he can be in public and consequently I don’t think Shellie can be in public because there’s just a lot of hate and animosity and you never know when it will show up.”