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Zimmerman lawyer defends releasing Trayvon texts

  • Mark O'Mara represents George Zimmerman in shooting of Trayvon Martin
  • Defense team released text messages showing Martin talking about fighting and drug use
  • O'Mara says he needed to release everything for possible use in trial

Watch George Zimmerman's next court hearing live, starting at 9 a.m. ET Tuesday on HLN!

Tuesday's hearing may be the final one before jury selection begins June 10 in the George Zimmerman trial.

Zimmerman is accused of fatally shooting Trayvon Martin in Sanford, Florida, on February 26, 2012. Zimmerman claims he shot the unarmed teenager in self-defense.

Several issues will likely be hammered out at Tuesday's hearing, including whether jurors will see Trayvon's text messages. The defense is also expected to ask for more time, so attorneys can review new speech analysis evidence.

The shooting received national attention because it touched on the issues of race and guns in America.

Last week, the defense released text messages sent by Martin. In the texts, he talks about smoking marijuana and fighting. Benjamin Crump, the attorney for the Martin family, said the texts are "completely irrelevant" and just an attempt to attack the victim.

Attorney Mark O'Mara, the lead counsel for the Zimmerman defense team, said he is bound by law to release anything they may bring up in trial. “Well, of course, today is not a determination of relevancy, it’s if [the texts are] discoverable,” he said. “The question of relevance is something that’s determined at trial.” 

Listen as he explains further to HLN Evening Express' Ryan Smith.

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