News Column

Zimmerman Judge to Hear 'Stand Your Ground' Claim in Unrelated Case

Dec. 11, 2012

Jeff Weiner, Orlando Sentinel

On the eve of another court date for second-degree murder defendant George Zimmerman, his judge will hear another defendant's claim to immunity from prosecution under Florida's "stand your ground" law.

Zimmerman says he killed 17-year-old Trayvon Martin in self-defense Feb. 26 in Sanford, and is expected to request a "stand your ground" hearing in April. Prosecutors allege he profiled, pursued and killed the teen.

Today the judge in the Zimmerman case, Circuit Judge Debra Nelson, will hear the "stand your ground" claim of James Fraleigh, who is accused of striking a neighbor with a shovel and threatening him with an ax.

The Jan. 7 incident between Fraleigh and his Seminola Boulevard neighbor in Casselberry resulted in charges of aggravated battery and aggravated assault after the neighbor fled and called police, records show.

Fraleigh says he was attacked by his neighbor and another man, and was acting in self-defense. Nelson is set to hear the motion at 9 a.m. in Seminole County. Check back later this morning for updates from the hearing.

In May, Nelson rejected the only other "stand your ground" claim that has come before her. That defendant, a 21-year-old man accused of murdering a friend in a dispute over a gun, was later acquitted by a jury at trial.

The Zimmerman case is due back in Nelson's courtroom on Tuesday for a slew of defense motions, seeking additional evidence from the state and the removal Zimmerman's court-ordered GPS monitor.



Source: (c)2012 The Orlando Sentinel (Orlando, Fla.) Distributed by MCT Information Services