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George Zimmerman Case: Judge Debra Nelson limits Trayvon Martin texts, photos

11:20 AM, May 28, 2013   |    comments
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George Zimmerman, right, arrives with his lead counsel, Mark O'Mara, for a hearing in Seminole circuit court, in Sanford, Florida, Tuesday, Feb. 5, 2013.

SANFORD, Florida (AP) - A Florida judge placed limits on what George Zimmerman's lawyer can say about the 17-year-old teen he fatally shot during the neighborhood watch leader's murder trial next month.

Circuit Judge Debra Nelson ruled Tuesday that Zimmerman's attorney won't be able to mention Trayvon Martin's marijuana use, his suspension from school and his past fighting during opening statements.

The judge also ruled that some of the Martin's texts and other social media statements won't be allowed in opening statements, though some of his personal material could be allowed later depending on how the case progresses.

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, Florida.

"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."

Judge: Jurors can't see crime scene

Also on Tuesday, Judge Nelson ruled jurors will not be able to travel to the crime scene during the trial.

Judge Nelson nixed the idea from Zimmerman's attorneys and also ruled against a defense request that the pool of jury candidates be sequestered during jury selection.

The judge also said jurors will be referred to by their jury numbers and prohibited their faces from being photographed.

Zimmerman's attorney, Mark O'Mara, says he is concerned potential jurors could be affected by publicity the case is receiving.

Zimmerman is pleading not guilty to second-degree murder. His trial starts next month.

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