The Corner

Judge Confronts Zimmerman in Testy Exchange

A hostile exchange took place in the courtroom today where George Zimmerman is on trial for second degree murder as Judge Debra Nelson questioned the defendant about his plans to testify.

Nelson reminded Zimmerman that he has the “absolute right to remain silent” if he so desires and proceeded to ask him whether he was prepared to testify. Defense attorney Don West twice objected to the question, but was overruled by Nelson, who explained, “The court is entitled to inquire if Mr. Zimmerman’s determination [sic] as to whether or not he wants to testify.” 

The judge then began asking Zimmerman how much time he requires to determine whether or not he would like to testify. West again objected to the question and asked for more time to speak with his client, prompting Judge Nelson to raise her voice and exclaim, “Your objection is overruled!”

The tension escalated as another of Zimmerman’s defense attorneys, Mark O’Mara, was overheard asking under his breath, “What is going on?”

Kathi Belich, a journalist following the trial for a local news channel, tweeted her surprise at the line of questioning, writing “I have never seen that in more than 30 years of court reporting.”

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