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Zimmerman defense can review Trayvon's records

NEED TO KNOW
  • George Zimmerman is charged with second-degree murder for shooting Trayvon Martin
  • Zimmerman claims he shot the teenager in self defense
  • The judge granted Zimmerman's request to access Martin's school and social media records
  • Read our live blog below for a minute-by-minute recap

George Zimmerman's attorneys got their way. They will be able to access Trayvon Martin's private records.

In a hearing Friday, Judge Debra Nelson granted Zimmerman's attorneys' request to get access to Trayvon Martin's school and social media records. However, she will review the school records first and decide what items she will turn over to the defense.

Zimmerman has pleaded not guilty to a second-degree murder charge for shooting the 17 year old on February 26. Zimmerman told police he shot the teen, who was returning from a convenience store and was unarmed, in self-defense.

Zimmerman attorney Mark O'Mara told the court Friday he was pursuing Martin's school records because the teen's character could become a crucial issue in the case against his client. O'Mara said if the case focuses on whether the victim was the aggressor, everything Martin has done will be relevant.

Prosecutor Bernie De La Rionda refused to get into those details, saying the attorneys were not at this hearing to litigate the case.

Nelson also granted the prosecution's request for Zimmerman's medical records. Nelson said she would treat the medical records just like Martin's school records. She will review the medical records first and decide what will be released to the prosecution.

Another hearing is scheduled for October 26 at 1:30 p.m. ET. At that hearing, the attorneys will argue over a gag order, a defense request to sequester witnesses before they give their depositions, and whether the prosecution will have to turn over more evidence gathered by the FBI during its investigation.

Read In Session's live blog below for a minute-by-minute recap of Friday's hearing:

3:07 p.m. ET: Zimmerman leaves the courtroom.

3:00 p.m. ET: The hearing has concluded.

2:59 p.m. ET: Nelson moves on to the state's motion for a gag order. O'Mara says he is not prepared to address that issue. The state says they have no problem with delaying with that issue later.  Nelson says they can bring up the issue at the hearing on October 26.

2:58 p.m. ET: Another hearing is scheduled for December 11.

2:57 p.m. ET: The parties are trying to decide on a date for a hearing in November.

2:56 p.m. ET: Nelson is still scheduling future hearings.

2:55 p.m. ET: Next hearing scheduled next Friday, October 26 at 1:30 p.m. ET.

2:53 p.m. ET: Nelson moves on to scheduling future hearings.

2:52 p.m. ET: Nelson says these documents will not be sealed.

2:51 p.m. ET: O'Mara says he is only asking that no one talk to the witnesses before they can depose them.

2:50 p.m. ET: Rionda says he wants time to respond to emergency motion in writing and wants the documents regarding this sealed as of now.

2:47 p.m. ET: Rionda says he objects to the defense's emergency motion. Rionda says he would prefer to deal with this emergency motion after dealing with his gag order request. Nelson says she wants to give the prosection more time to review the emergency motion. Nelson says the defense is asking that the witnesses be sequestered before the give their depositions.

2:46 p.m. ET:

 

2:41 p.m. ET: O'Mara has an emergency motion for a protective order, and Nelson says she won't deal with the motion until she and the prosecutors have a chance to read it. Nelson is reading it now.

2:41 p.m. ET: Nelson moves on to the defense's request to schedule future hearings.

2:40 p.m. ET: The defense is trying to ask Crump questions about the FBI involvement. Nelson stops it, and says, "We are not here to depose Crump."

2:38 p.m. ET: Martin's family was apparently involved with this interview. The Martin Family attorney Ben Crump is addressing the court right now, and says that he will provide all the information he can to the court regarding the interview.  Nelson asks Crump to provide a list of everyone present during the interview, and apparently the FBI was involved with this interview. Again, we do not know what was discussed during the interview in question.

2:33 p.m. ET: Zimmerman's attorneys want more information about an interview ABC conducted shortly after Martin's death that was about a phone call between Martin and his girlfriend shortly before he died. Attorneys are not giving a lot details about the interview or who was interviewed or what was presented during the interview.

2:29 p.m. ET: Zimmerman's attorneys says they need these addresses for the defense to learn more about the context of the witnesses lives.

2:28 p.m. ET:

2:25 p.m. ET:

2:24 p.m. ET: CNN reached out to Facebook for a comment on the subpoenas in that will be issued in the Zimmerman case, and the representative would not comment on the case.

2:23 p.m. ET: Rionda says he is concerned for the safety to every witness, and he doesn't know why the defense needs addresses to all the family members of every witness.

2:16 p.m. ET: Zimmerman's attorney is also arguing the prosecution should have to turn over names and addresses of certain witnesses.

2:15 p.m. ET: Nelson says she will handle the defense's motion expressing frustration with the discovery and the FBI file at a later date. One of Zimmerman's attorneys is now arguing that the prosecution has not turned over multiple photos to the defense.

2:15 p.m. ET: Nelson moves on to another motion. O'Mara says he is frustrated with how prosecutors have turned over evidence to the defense. He also says that prosecutors have not turned over FBI investigative records in this case.

2:11 p.m. ET: Rionda says the medical records should be treated the same as the school records. Nelson says she will review both the school records and medical records and decide what should be produced to the respective attorneys.

2:08 p.m. ET: Nelson says medical records are privileged information like school records. Nelson grants the prosecution access to Zimmerman medical records and will review them in chambers to determine what will be produced to the prosecution.

2:06 p.m. ET: Rionda says the prosecutors should have access to Zimmerman's medical records. O'Mara says that he is fine with a limited release of medical records 30 days before Martin's death and 30 days after. Rionda wants all of Zimmerman's medical records.

2:04 p.m. ET: O'Mara also says he wants Martin's girlfriend's twitter records, because her Tweets seem to contradict comments she has made about her behavior shortly after Martin died.

2:03 p.m. ET: The defense argued that information on the accounts, such as videos of MMA fighting, could be relevant to the defense case.

2:01 p.m. ET:

1:59 p.m. ET: Nelson says the court will issue subpoenas for Martin's Facebook and Twitter records.

1:57 p.m. ET: Prosecutor Rionda says we aren't here right now to litigate the case. He also says the defense can have his Twitter records, but the prosecution may argue later that they are not relevant.

1:55 p.m. ET: O'Mara says if the case focuses on whether the victim was the aggressor, then unfortunately then everything Martin has done will be relevant.

1:53 p.m. ET: O'Mara says there's no expectation of privacy in regards to public posts on Twitter and Facebook. Therefore, the defense should be entitled to Martin's public posts.

1:51 p.m. ET: This is Zimmerman's first appearance in front of Judge Nelson. 

READ MORE: Meet Zimmerman's new judge

1:49 p.m. ET: O'Mara says there's no case or laws on the books in regards to discovery of social media evidence, because it is so new.

1:48 p.m. ET:

1:48 p.m. ET: Nelson is reviewing a document right now.

1:47 p.m. ET:

1:46 p.m. ET: Zimmerman is sitting emotionless in court. He appears to have gained weight since his last appearance in court.

1:45 p.m. ET: O'Mara says he wants to get his hands on Martin's school records. Judge Nelson cites a law and says she believes that O'Mara is entitled to the school records.  The court moves on to Martin's social media records

1:40 p.m. ET: Judge Nelson says this is open case and open court, and she has no intention to close public off from information coming from the court.  Nelson also says that if one side asks for something to be kept from the public she will rule on that item in her chambers.

1:37 p.m. ET: Zimmerman's attorney Mark O'Mara says that he did file a proper motion requesting Martin's records after the prosecutors complained.

1:36 p.m. ET: Rionda says instead of filing a motion requesting subpoenas for Martin's school records the defense put the fact the subpeonas they created on their website for the public to know everything that is going on. The prosecutor also says that it will be difficult to put on a fair trial if the defense releases everything to the media. "We shouldn't have to have a press conference everytime there is a request for a document," said Rionda. 

1:32 p.m. ET: Prosecutor Bernie De La Rionda is arguing that the defense subpeonas asking for school records were inproper without approval of the court.

1:29 p.m. ET: An attorney representing media outlets is arguing that motions and evidence in Zimmerman's case should remain public record. 

1:28 p.m. ET: Judge Debra Nelson and Zimmerman have entered the courtroom.

1:26 p.m. ET: We are moments away from the start of the hearing.  Click here to learn more about what the attorneys will argue over today.

1:23 p.m. ET: Before the hearing, Martin family attorney Ben Crump told reporters: 

"We come here to make a few points before the proceedings. First off, on the matters of today. Let's be clear, Trayvon's family does not feel his school records are relevant. It's offensive to them. But if the court sees fit, we demand George Zimmerman's medical records be released because they are far more relevant."

1:21 p.m. ET: Judge Debra Nelso and defendant George Zimmerman have not entered the courtroom yet.

1:20 p.m ET: Prosecutors, Zimmerman's attorneys and Martin's family are in the courtroom preparing for the hearing

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