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Zimmerman's not guilty plea accepted in Martin case arraignment

ORLANDO SENTINEL / POOL

George Zimmerman is seen during his bond hearing last month in Sanford, Florida.

George Zimmerman’s not-guilty plea on a second-degree murder charge in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin was accepted Tuesday afternoon at his Sanford, Fla., court arraignment, which the defendant did not attend.

Judge Kenneth R. Lester set a date for a so-called docket sounding 8:30 a.m., Aug. 8. That’s when a trial date will be set unless Zimmerman’s attorney, Mark  O'Mara, asks for a continuance.

Also on Tuesday, O'Mara in two filings waived Zimmerman's right to a speedy trial and said he needed more time to prepare his defense for trial. Zimmerman otherwise is guaranteed under Florida law the right to a trial within 175 days of his arrest.


Zimmerman remains free after posting $150,000 bond.

O'Mara, who also did not attend Tuesday's arraignment, earlier filed a written plea of not guilty and waived Zimmerman's appearance at the arraignment. Assistant State Attorney Bernie de la Rionda also did not appear in court Tuesday.

Lester addressed Zimmerman's case moments after taking the bench.

It was the first order of business on a busy day in Lester's court as 170 defendants were answering charges Tuesday afternoon.

Read the original story at NBCMiami.com

According to police, Zimmerman, 28, has said he was acting in self-defense in the Feb. 26 shooting of Martin, 17, in a Sanford gated community.

Authorities didn't charge Zimmerman in the shooting of the Miami Gardens teen for more than six weeks, sparking national protests led by Martin's parents and civil rights groups.

Zimmerman is at an undisclosed location but is being monitored by authorities with a GPS device. He has surrendered his passport and must observe a 7 p.m.-to-6 a.m. curfew under the terms of his release.

George Zimmerman's attorney defends move as a counter to fake sites. WESH's Cara Moore reports.

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