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Zimmerman update: Judge to rule on gag order Monday

Pool / REUTERS

George Zimmerman, the former neighborhood watch volunteer charged with second-degree murder, in a Sanford courtroom on Oct. 19.

SANFORD, Fla. -- Prosecutors asked a Florida judge to impose a gag order in the case of a former neighborhood watch leader accused of fatally shooting Florida teenager Trayvon Martin on Friday.

Circuit Judge Debra S. Nelson will rule on the order Monday.

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Assistant state attorney Bernie de la Rionda said he believes George Zimmerman's defense attorney, Mark O'Mara, has been using a website, social media and news conferences to influence potential jurors. He claims the sites and social media created by the defense team are "groundbreaking" and have gone too far.


O'Mara launched a website, as well as Twitter and Facebook accounts, in April, citing a need to counter fraudulent Internet entities that claimed to come from Zimmerman. O'Mara contends he doesn't discuss any specific evidence and has been compliant with all bar rules.

O'Mara said in court Friday that a tiny percentage -- one half of 1 percent -- of visitors to his website came from Central Florida, making them eligible for the jury pool.

Zimmerman attorneys maintain that everything they've said in public so far is "proper and well within our rights."

Zimmerman  is accused of fatally shooting the 17-year-old Martin in February. Zimmerman, 29, has pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder, saying he shot Martin in self-defense. He and his wife, Shellie, remain in hiding somewhere in Seminole County because of safety concerns. A trial date has been set for June 10.

It is the second time de la Rionda has requested a gag order in the case, which grabbed the media spotlight and triggered public outrage because police in the central Florida town of Sanford initially declined to arrest Zimmerman.

Reuters and The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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