Judge in neighborhood watch case won't step down

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Associated Press

Posted on August 1, 2012 at 10:00 AM

Updated Wednesday, Aug 1 at 10:02 AM

SANFORD, Fla. (AP) — A central Florida judge says he's staying on the case of a neighborhood watch volunteer charged with killing an unarmed teenager.

In a Wednesday ruling, Circuit Judge Kenneth Lester denied a motion by George Zimmerman's defense attorney to disqualify himself because of disparaging remarks he made during a bond hearing.

Zimmerman's attorney, Mark O'Mara, filed the motion after the July 5 bond hearing during which Lester questioned Zimmerman's honesty and suggested he plotted to leave the country.

Zimmerman is accused of fatally shooting Trayvon Martin in a Sanford neighborhood in February.

Lester said Zimmerman "flaunted the system" by failing to disclose how much money he'd raised through donations and that it appeared he was preparing to flee to avoid prosecution for second-degree murder.

Zimmerman is currently staying in an unknown location.

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