(CBS/AP) -- A Florida judge has ruled that prosecutors may introduce
evidence about suspected murderer George Zimmerman's coursework in
criminal justice that they say gave him knowledge of Florida's
Judge Debra Nelson heard arguments from prosecutors and defense
attorneys, who objected to the evidence being introduced, outside the
presence of jurors Wednesday morning.
Defense attorney Mark O'Mara says the coursework is not relevant to
the case and called the prosecution's effort to introduce it "a witch
Prosecutors argued Zimmerman's knowledge of law enforcement is relevant to the case.
has the education and the ability and the understanding and at least
the background to be able to discuss, when he is confronted with police,
to both understand what it is they might be trying to do and also what
it is he might say in order to address the situation in the light most
favorable to him," said prosecutor Richard Mantei in court.
say the school records show that 29-year-old Zimmerman had knowledge of
the law, though he maintained in an interview with Fox News last year
that he didn't. Jurors heard that interview on Tuesday.
has pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder in the shooting of
17-year-old Trayvon Martin last year. Martin was unarmed.
ruled that Zimmerman's school records, a police job application and an
application for a ride-along with Sanford police officers can be
introduced before the jury.