SANFORD, Fla. The long-awaited trial in the Trayvon Martin murder case appears set to begin next summer.
Judge Debra S. Nelson on Wednesday set a tentative trial date of June 10 for George Zimmerman, the Florida neighborhood watch volunteer charged fatally shooting the unarmed teenager.
But Zimmerman's attorney noted there are still several unresolved pretrial matters to complete. Another status hearing is set for December 10.
Zimmerman is charged with second-degree murder in the shooting of the 17-year-old Martin in February. The 29-year-old has claimed self-defense and is pleading not guilty.
Attorney Mark O'Mara estimated he expects the trial to last three weeks.
They'll be back in court Friday for what is expected to be a lengthy hearing for arguments on several motions, including the defense asking for more time to interview state witnesses.
It was Nelson's first hearing in the case. An appeals court removed the previous judge, saying he made disparaging remarks about Zimmerman's character.
O'Mara also has previously said he believes that the facts that will be argued in the case fall more under traditional self-defense, not under Florida's "stand your ground" law, which allows people to use deadly force rather than retreat if they believe their lives are in danger.
Zimmerman was initially granted $150,000 bond and released in April. But the judge revoked that bond in June after prosecutors presented evidence that Zimmerman and his wife misled the court about how much money they had, including $135,000 raised by then from a website for his legal defense. He was later freed on a new $1 million bond.
Martin's Feb. 26 death in a gated community in the Orlando suburb of Sanford first drew national attention on March 8, the day his relatives held a news conference to lament that Zimmerman hadn't been arrested.
Martin was unarmed and walking back to an apartment where he was staying with his father at the time of the shooting.
Zimmerman wasn't charged with second-degree murder until 44 days after the shooting. During that time, protesters around the nation demanded Zimmerman's arrest, and the Sanford Police Department was accused of racism and incompetence.