SANFORD, Florida (AP/USA TODAY) - A judge in the case of a former neighborhood watch leader accused of shooting Florida teenager Trayvon Martin has denied a defense request to delay the trial.
George Zimmerman's attorneys presented a motion Tuesday asking Judge Debra Nelson to push the trial from mid-June back to November. They say the prosecutor has been slow in turning over needed evidence. The state attorney denied the accusation.
Judge Debra Nelson noted Zimmerman's lead attorney had been in the case nearly a year and says the problems he's having getting evidence are not insurmountable.
The ruling comes on the day Martin would have turned 18.
His family and local leaders have planned community healing and memorial events this week in honor of the teen whose shooting death last year sparked national debates about race, gun laws, and the meaning of self-defense.
Zimmerman, a neighborhood watch volunteer, is facing a second-degree murder charge in the February 26 shooting of the 17-year-old in a gated Sanford, Florida community.
Zimmerman is claiming self defense. Martin's family argues the young man was profiled, pursued, and murdered.
On Tuesday, community leaders in Sanford will host a "Banding Together for Peace" program to recognize the need for community healing and solidarity. The event, held in Goldsboro, a historically black part of the city, will include the Sanford Police Department, the NAACP, local city officials, and Benjamin Crump, an attorney for Martin's family.
On Saturday in Miami, where Martin lived, an event dubbed the "I am Trayvon, Day of Remembrance Peace Walk" will feature motivational speakers, entertainers, and free food. On Sunday, The Trayvon Martin Foundation, set up by the teen's parents, Sybrina Fulton and Tracy Martin, will host a fundraising dinner with several guests including Rev. Al Sharpton and Rev. Jesse Jackson.
Trayvon Martin's death and the murder case against Zimmerman has remained a topic of public interest as court hearings continue. Zimmerman remains free on $1 million bond -- with GPS monitoring-- while awaiting trial.