New judge appointed in Zimmerman trial
At the behest of the attorney of George Zimmerman, Jr., Circuit Judge Jessica Recksiedler has recused herself from the case stemming from the February shooting of teenager Trayvon Martin, according to the Orlando Sentinel.
Judge Recksiedler’s husband is a law partner of attorney Mark NeJame, who has been hired to comment on the case by CNN. An attorney for George Zimmerman presented these circumstances to the court as a conflict of interest.
Things quickly got complicated in that in Seminole County, judges are assigned to cases based on a rotation system. The next judge available for the case was Circuit Judge John Galluzzo, who had to recuse himself because he used to practice law with George Zimmerman’s attorney, Mark O’Mara. O’Mara is also godfather to one of Judge Galluzzo’s children.
The next judge in line was Circuit Judge Kenneth Lester, Jr., who has 15 years on the bench and experience with high profile trials. According to the Sentinel, Lester presided over the homicide case of Michael Reynolds, who received two death sentences and life in prison for “beating and stabbing a Geneva couple and their 11-year-old child to death in 1998.” Lester has also handled murder trials of a schizophrenic woman and an ax murderer.
Lester is reportedly well liked by attorneys and has a reputation for doing things quickly and efficiently.
Special Prosecutor Angela Corey will plead the state’s case against Zimmerman, who faces charges of second degree murder.
(image of George Zimmerman, Jr. via ABC News screenshot)