Zimmerman Case Judge: Witness Identities to Remain Sealed
In a ruling Tuesday Judge Kenneth Lester ordered the release of some of the other information the prosecution asked to be sealed, including statements George Zimmerman made to the police.
The prosecutor Bernie de la Rionda and defense attorney Mark O'Mara had asked for witness names and identities to be protected, saying their release could jeopardise the trial. In his ruling, Judge Lester wrote that if they were identified, "there is a strong probability that previously undisclosed witnesses will become uncooperative."
The order protects the identities of those witnesses. However, witness statements that have not already been made public will be released.
Judge Lester denied a request to seal statements Zimmerman made to law enforcement, and tests done on Zimmerman.
The ruling also orders the release of emails to the Sanford Police department regarding the case.
Discovery information included in the release order will be made public within 15 days.
Zimmerman, who is charged with second degree murder in the shooting death of teenager Trayvon Martin, is in jail awaiting a bond hearing on June 29th.
He was ordered back to jail for not telling the court at his first bond hearing about thousands of dollars raised by donations to a support website.
Zimmerman's wife Shellie Zimmerman was arrested this week and charged with perjury. The prosecutor said she and Zimmerman spoke in code about the money during phone calls after he was first arrested.
Shellie Zimmerman has been released from jail on $1000 bond.