ORLANDO, Fla., Sept 10 - Lawyers defending the neighborhood watch volunteer charged in the fatal shooting of unarmed black teenager Trayvon Martin have launched a “witch hunt” by seeking Martin’s school and social media records, the family’s lawyer said on Monday.
“I think certainly it is a witch hunt to try to find something to attack the character of a dead child and it’s completely irrelevant because his school records had nothing to do with him (George Zimmerman) shooting Trayvon Martin in the heart on February 26,” said Martin family attorney Ben Crump.
Zimmerman lawyer Mark O‘Mara announced on his website last week that he had subpoenaed Martin’s entire school file from the Miami-Dade public school district, including test scores, any disciplinary actions and attendance records.
At the time of his death, Martin, a 17-year-old high school student, was serving a 10-day suspension from school after being caught with a plastic baggie containing traces of marijuana.
Martin was spending a week with his father and father’s fiancée in a gated town-home community in Sanford, just north of Orlando.
He was walking back from a convenience store when Zimmerman called a 911 dispatcher and said the teen looked suspicious. Zimmerman said he shot Martin in self-defense after he was attacked and Martin repeatedly slammed his head to the ground.
Barring a court order prohibiting the release of Martin’s school records, school district spokesman John Schuster said the records would be turned over to O‘Mara.
“We will honor any subpoena, but we also notify the parents ahead of time before we do that,” Schuster said.
O‘Mara and his spokesman did not return calls from Reuters for comment on Monday afternoon.
Editing By Tom Brown and Peter Cooney