SANFORD, Florida (Reuters) - A Florida judge on Tuesday denied a request from accused murderer George Zimmerman to let him remove his GPS monitoring device and travel freely in the state pending his trial next June in the shooting death of unarmed black teenager Trayvon Martin.
Zimmerman, 29, has been confined to Seminole County under a $1 million bond since July, when a judge concluded that he had presented false information about his assets and was a flight risk.
Zimmerman and his wife, Shellie, who is charged with perjury for allegedly lying to the judge about the couple’s finances, live in hiding and “in fear of violence,” according to a 74-page motion filed by his lawyer, Mark O’Mara.
O’Mara said Zimmerman needed the flexibility to travel for his personal safety and to be available to assist his lawyers in meetings with witnesses.
But Judge Debra Nelson summarily denied the request at a hearing dealing with a series of motions filed by O’Mara, most requesting access to potential evidence.
At the time of the shooting on February 26, Zimmerman was a neighborhood watch volunteer in a gated community in the central Florida city of Sanford.
Prosecutors say he pursued, confronted and killed Martin, a black 17-year-old who was returning with snacks to the townhouse where he was staying with his father to watch the NBA finals.
Zimmerman is expected to claim self-defense under Florida’s controversial Stand Your Ground law, which makes it difficult to prosecute a shooter who claims self-defense.
Editing by Jane Sutton and Tom Brown