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Judge Jessica Recksiedler steps down from George Zimmerman murder case

Judge Jessica Recksiedler Pool,AP Photo/Orlando Sentinel, Tom Benitez

Judge Jessica Recksiedler
Pool,AP Photo/Orlando Sentinel, Tom Benitez
(CBS) The Florida judge who had been assigned to preside over George Zimmerman's second-degree murder trial announced Wednesday that she would recuse herself from the proceedings.

Pictures: George Zimmerman charged with murder

Circuit Court Judge Jessica Recksiedler issued a statement saying that she would step down from the case. Earlier this week, Zimmerman's attorney, Mark O'Mara, made a motion requesting the judge recuse herself based, in part, on her husband's professional relationship with Mark NeJame, a CNN legal analyst who has publicly commented on the case and was previously approached about representing Zimmerman.

According to a statement released by Florida's Eight Circuit Court, Judge John D. Galluzzo, the next judge in the rotation, has alerted the court to his own conflict on interest in the case. Galluzzo wrote in a Notice of Judicial Conflict that he should not preside over a case involving O'Mara, with whom he has had a personal and business relationship.

This means that Judge Kenneth R. Lester, Jr., will likely preside over the Zimmerman case.

George Zimmerman is charged with second-degree murder in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin on February 26. Zimmerman has said he shot Martin in self-defense. He is currently incarcerated and will appear in court for a bail hearing on Friday.

Complete coverage of the Trayvon Martin case on CBS News

  • Julia Dahl

    Julia Dahl writes about crime and justice for CBSNews.com

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