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Florida judge approves access to records in Trayvon Martin case

posted 19 Oct 2012, 15:33 by Mpelembe   [ updated 19 Oct 2012, 15:34 ]

Florida judge approves access by attorney's to medical, school, and social media records in the Trayvon Martin case, the unarmed black teenager killed by a neighborhood watch volunteer.

SANFORDFLORIDA (OCTOBER 18, 2012) (NBC) -  A Florida judge approved a request by defense attorneys on Friday (October 19) to allow access to the school and social media records of Trayvon Martin, the unarmed black teenager killed by Florida neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman.

Judge Debra Nelson also approved access by the prosecution to Zimmerman's confidential medical records, but said she would review the files to see if anything needed to be withheld.

Martin's school records could provide details of any history of disciplinary action. At the time of his February 26 death, in a gated subdivision in the central Florida town ofSanford near Orlando, the 17-year-old was staying at his father's fiancée's town home.

He was serving a 10-day suspension from Miami's Dr. Michael M. Krop Senior High School after being caught with a baggy containing traces of marijuana.

"There is absolutely nothing relevant that we find in Trayvon's school record. We just think it is a terrible precedent to set, that a dead child's school records is now berated by his murderer as justification for his killing," said Martin family attorney, Ben Crumpbefore the hearing.

Zimmerman's medical records could shed more light on the medications he was taking at the time of the shooting.

In a report filed by the Sanford Fire Department and included in discovery documents released in May by prosecutors, paramedics listed Zimmerman's medications as Librax and Temazepam.

Librax is used to treat stomach ulcers and irritable bowel syndrome, and relieves anxiety. Stopping the drug suddenly has been linked to withdrawal symptoms such as anxiousness, sleeplessness, and irritability.

Temazepam is an immediate-acting drug used for the short-term treatment of sleeplessness and includes anti-anxiety, anticonvulsant and muscle relaxant properties.

A report by Zimmerman's doctor made public in July on his defense attorney's website shows Zimmerman was also taking Adderall, a psychostimulant used for treatment of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, and Omeprazole, a treatment for gastroesophageal reflux disease.

Zimmerman has said he acted in self-defense on February 26 when he shot Martin, who was walking back from a convenience store to the town home where he was staying with his father.

Zimmerman's lead defense attorney Mark O'Mara has said he would seek to have the murder charge dismissed in a hearing in April or May under Florida's Stand Your Ground law, which allows individuals in fear for their life to use deadly force in self-defense.

However, prosecutors argue that Martin would be alive if Zimmerman had followed instructions from a police dispatcher not to pursue Martin and instead wait for officers to arrive. Prosecutors contend Zimmerman profiled Martin and then pursued, confronted and killed him.