Thursday, April 19, 2012

Court Issues Orders In Zimmerman Case

Two Judges Disqualify Themselves In Zimmerman Case

SANFORD, FL. -- Circuit Judge Jessica Recksiedler of the 18th Circuit Court in Sanford, Florida has executed an order disqualifying herself from further proceedings in the State of Florida v. George Zimmerman.

Additionally, Judge John D. Galluzzo indicated to the court he has a conflict, and will not be the judge in the case against Gerorge Zimmerman.

Chief Judge Dickey is in receipt of a Notice of Judicial Conflict from Judge John D.Galluzzo, certifying to Chief Judge Dickey that Judge Galluzzo has a conflict in performing his duties as a circuit judge in any matter in controversy where Mark M. O’Mara is the attorney of record because of their prior business and personal relationship and the requirements of Cannon 3E of the Florida Code of Judicial Conduct.

Judge Galluzo was a former law partner of O'Mara, Zimmerman's defense attorney.

Zimmerman has been accused by the State of Florida of the 2nd degree murder of Trayvon Martin.  

Recksiedler's husband had been affiliated with Zimmerman before current attorney Mark M. O'Mara took the case in defense of Zimmerman.

Circuit Judge Kenneth R. Lester will preside over a bond hearing for George Zimmerman on Friday, April 20, at 9 a.m., in courtroom 5-D of the Criminal Justice Center in Sanford.

In the three-page order dated April 18, 2012, Judge Recksiedler made findings that each basis, in and of itself, were “legally insufficient” for disqualification. In addition, the order further states “[e]ven though this Court finds that neither of these, standing alone, is legally sufficient for disqualification, the cumulative effect of the events and the totality of the circumstances provides a legally sufficient basis for this Court to grant the Motion to Disqualify.”

The order directs the case to be returned to Chief Judge Alan Dickey for reassignment. Per the current court order, a copy of this document is not available at this time.

Because Judge Galluzzo is the next judge in the normal rotation of the criminal division, the Chief Judge has directed Criminal Administrative Judge Debra Nelson to appoint the next judge in the criminal division rotation,

Judge Kenneth M. Lester, Jr., is to now preside over the George Zimmerman case.

Chief Judge Dickey issued the following statement regarding the reassignment of this case: “Even though Judge Recksiedler had to grant the motion for disqualification in this case, she is very capable of presiding over this or any other criminal case and I have complete confidence in Judge Lester as well.”

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