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Trayvon Martin Case: George Zimmerman waives right to "stand your ground" hearing

George Zimmerman (center) and his attorney Mark O'Mara arrive in court on April 30, 2013 Pool,AP Photo/Orlando Sentinel, Joe Burbank

George Zimmerman (center) and his attorney Mark O'Mara arrive in court on Tuesday, April 30, 2013
Pool,AP Photo/Orlando Sentinel, Joe Burbank

(CBS) - George Zimmerman told a judge in court Tuesday morning that he will not seek a "stand your ground" immunity hearing before his trial on charges of second-degree murder in the shooting death of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin.

PICTURES: George Zimmerman faces murder charge

READ: Timeline of events in Trayvon Martin shooting case

Zimmerman, a former neighborhood watch volunteer, is accused of shooting Martin in a gated Sanford, Fla. community in February of 2012. Zimmerman has maintained that he shot Martin in self defense, and has pleaded not guilty.

Zimmerman is in a Florida courtroom Tuesday for a motions hearing. Prosecutors wanted Zimmerman to state to the court whether or not he would give up his right to the hearing, a proceeding that would have determined whether Zimmerman could be absolved of criminal wrongdoing in the case. 

Florida's so-called "stand your ground" law allows someone to use deadly force, instead of retreating, if they believe their life is in danger. A "stand your ground" hearing could have led to the dismissal of charges if Zimmerman conclusively showed that he fatally shot Martin because he "reasonably believed" he might be killed or suffer "great bodily harm" at the hands of the unarmed teenager.

Circuit Judge Debra Nelson asked Zimmerman whether it was his decision to waive the pre-trial hearing. Following a short discussion with attorneys, Zimmerman answered quietly, "After consultation with my counsel, yes."

He told Nelson he made the decision freely and voluntarily.

The Orlando Sentinel reports that the defense has said they "might" argue for immunity at trial after all the evidence is presented.

Complete coverage of the Trayvon Martin case on Crimesider

  • Erin Donaghue

    Erin Donaghue covers crime for CBSNews.com's Crimesider.

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