Attorney: No imminent plans to put Zimmerman on stand
(CNN) — Despite the intense scrutiny and heated emotions surrounding his client’s case, George Zimmerman’s defense attorney says he has no immediate plans to ask for a change of venue or to put his client on the stand.
Zimmerman’s murder trial will begin with jury selection Monday in Seminole County, Florida — the same county where 17-year-old Trayvon Martin was fatally shot last year.
Zimmerman’s attorney, Mark O’Mara, said requesting a change of venue is only relevant if lawyers can’t pick a suitable jury.
“If we can pick a jury in Seminole County, this is where the incident occurred and this is where the case should be decided,” O’Mara told HLN’s Jean Casarez.
O’Mara also said there are no immediate plans for Zimmerman to testify.
“The defense doesn’t have to present any evidence, any piece of paper, any witness including the defendant. It is all up to whether or not the State can prove their case beyond a reasonable doubt,” he said. “In this case, they have to disprove self-defense beyond a reasonable doubt. So if they get past all of that, such that we decide to put some witnesses on, we’ll decide whether or not George should take the stand.”
He noted that Zimmerman has already given several voluntary statements to police, “so all of that information is already out there.”
Zimmerman, a neighborhood watch volunteer, is charged with second-degree murder for shooting Martin on February 26, 2012. He said he shot the teenager in self-defense.
On Saturday, voice recognition experts testified it’s impossible to positively identify whose screams are heard in the background of the 911 calls made the night Martin was shot.
The full interview with Casarez will air on HLN’s “Morning Express” on Monday.
CNN’s Colette Bennett contributed to this report.