As the trial of George Zimmerman approaches, the state is now demanding the accused killer of Trayvon Martin be questioned by the judge on whether his defense will invoke the state's Stand Your Ground law.
Assistant State Attorney Bernie de la Rionda Tuesday filed a motion requesting that Zimmerman appear at next Tuesday's pretrial hearing so he can be told his rights to a pretrial immunity challenge and, if he chooses, waive them. Failure to establish a clear record that Zimmerman knowingly waived those rights could give him grounds for appeal if he is convicted, de la Rionda argued.
On March 5, defense attorney Mark O’Mara backed off plans to use a pretrial hearing to attempt to prove Zimmerman acted in self-defense and, therefore, deserved both criminal and civil immunity for killing Martin.
O’Mara suggested the self-defense immunity hearing could be merged into the trial, but de la Rionda's latest motion objects to that, as well.
If Judge Debra Nelson grants the motion, Zimmerman would appear Tuesday at the courthouse here for a hearing previously scheduled to handle other matters.