George Zimmerman has formally pleaded not guilty to murdering 17-year-old Trayvon Martin, according to newly released court documents.
On April 16, five days after Zimmerman’s arrest, attorney Mark O’Mara filed a formal declaration that he would handle the neighborhood watch volunteer’s defense, waived his client’s right to an arraignment, entered a written plea of not guilty and asked for a jury trial.
The document was part of a cache of court papers unsealed in the case Monday in Sanford, Fla.
A judge had ruled in favor of the media organizations who has petitioned the court asking why the Zimmerman case was not subject to Florida’s unusually strict rules about making government information public.
Zimmerman, 28, shot and killed the teenager on Feb. 26 in an Orlando-area gated community.
He claimed self-defense and was not arrested until April 11, after a national outcry forced state authorities to revisit the case.
Zimmerman was released from jail Sunday after posting a $150,000 bond and has gone back into hiding, fearing for his safety.