(CBS/AP) A Florida judge on Tuesday denied a request by George Zimmerman's defense to delay the June 10 murder trial for the former neighborhood watch captain, accused of killing unarmed teen Trayvon Martin during a confrontation in Sanford, Fla. last year.
The ruling came during a pre-trial hearing during which Circuit Judge Debra Nelson considered a series of motions.
Nelson ruled Tuesday that George Zimmerman's defense may not bring up Trayvon Martin's alleged past marijuana use, school suspensions or fighting at trial without another ruling granting them permission, the Orlando Sentinel reports.
Text messages about Martin's smoking marijuana and trouble at school were released by Zimmerman's defense attorneys last week. The photos released by the defense team also show Martin blowing smoke and making an obscene gesture toward the camera.
Zimmerman's attorney, Mark O'Mara, told the judge that Martin's marijuana use and past fighting was central to the argument that Zimmerman used self-defense when he confronted Martin last year at a gated community in Sanford, Fla. Zimmerman is charged with second-degree murder. He has pleaded not guilty.
"We have a lot of evidence that marijuana use had something to do with the event," O'Mara said. "It could have affected his behavior."
Also on Tuesday, Nelson ruled that a toxicology test showing that Martin had marijuana in his system at the time of his death could not be discussed during opening statements.
The judge ruled against a defense request that the pool of jury candidates be sequestered during jury selection. Nelson denied a prosecution request for a gag order that would prohibit attorneys from talking about the case.
O'Mara said he is concerned potential jurors could be affected by publicity the case is receiving. The judge set a hearing for May 31 to weigh whether the media may photograph jurors outside of court, and another hearing for June 6-7 to determine evidence admissibility.Complete coverage of the Trayvon Martin case on Crimesider