Mark O’Mara, lead attorney on the defense team for George Zimmerman, Jr. apologized Sunday for mischaracterizing video evidence his team claimed to have in a pre-trial hearing last week. According to NBC News, O’Mara and the Zimmerman team claimed on Tuesday that it had three videotapes, two in which slain teenager Trayvon Martin refereed fights between other teens and one that was allegedly filmed by Martin, showing two of Martin’s close associates assaulting a homeless man.
On Sunday, the defense team posted a statement on Zimmerman’s website revealing that the footage in question actually showed “two homeless guys fighting each other over a bike.”
O’Mara and the defense team apologized, saying that they had “misstated the nature” of the footage.
Last week, O’Mara told Judge Debra Nelson he wanted to introduce the three cell phone videos as evidence in the trial, saying, “Presumably, however, you’ll keep your mind open when we present the videos of (Martin) at these fights, not just as a spectator, but refereeing one and taping one where two buddies of his were beating up a homeless guy.”
The defense team was portraying the videos as evidence of Martin’s violent tendencies and potentially a bolster to Zimmerman’s claim that he shot and killed the 16-year-old in self defense.
Judge Nelson denied O’Mara’s request to delay the start of the trial, as well as ordering that evidence of Martin’s suspension from school, his use of marijuana and involvement in schoolyard fights could not be used in the opening portion of the trial. She said that she would be reviewing further details presented by the defense on a case-by-case basis.