George Zimmerman’s attorney, Mark O’Mara, was successful in getting Judge Kenneth Lester removed from the case on Wednesday, reports The Miami Herald.
In a 2-1 ruling by the appellate court, the majority of the judges agreed that Judge Lester was biased against Zimmerman. “Although many of the allegations in Zimmerman’s motion, standing alone, do not meet the legal sufficient test, and while this is admittedly a close call, upon careful review we find that the allegations, taken together, meet the threshold test of legal sufficiency,” wrote the majority of the judges. This is the second judge to get removed from the case. In April, O’Mara claimed Judge Jennifer Recksiedler created a conflict of interest.
It’s no secret that Judge Lester was direct and forthright in his July ruling. He believed Zimmerman “flaunted the system” and “manipulated” the law for his own benefit after discovering Zimmerman withheld his financial records. O’Mara took offense to comments that Judge Lester could hold Zimmerman in contempt of court in the future.
In what appears to be a retaliation from being dismissed from the case, Judge Lester ordered almost 150 taped jailhouse calls of Zimmerman released after agreeing only transcripts made by the prosecution would be made public. In addition, he released a statement by a woman who claims she was sexually harassed by Zimmerman as a child.
Earlier this month, O’Mara began to seek a “Stand Your Ground” hearing in which he hopes to present “clear support for a strong claim of self-defense.” The goal will be to convince the court that Zimmerman acted to “prevent bodily harm to himself at the hands of Trayvon Martin.”
Zimmerman faces second degree murder charges.
There’s no word on when a new judge will be appointed and if O’Mara’s hearing request will be granted.