TICKER: Trayvon Martin killing: George Zimmerman gets new judge

A new judge has been assigned to the case against George Zimmerman.

Thursday, the 18th Judicial Circuit Court announced that Criminal Administrative Judge Debra Nelson has been assigned to the Zimmerman case, replacing Judge Kenneth Lester after Zimmerman’s defense team requested his removal.

The replacement comes just one day after the Fifth District Court of Appeal ruled in favor of Zimmerman that Judge Lester could be considered biased in the case against Zimmerman, who is charged with second-degree murder for the deadly shooting of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin in February.

In its decision Wednesday, the appeals court said Judge Lester went too far when he called Zimmerman a “manipulator” of the law, and hinted that he could hold him in contempt of court after Zimmerman did not disclose his access to more than $100,000 during his first bond hearing.

Judge Nelson has been serving as a judge in Florida’s 18th Judicial Circuit, which covers Seminole County and Brevard County, since 1999.

Nelson graduated from the University of South Florida in 1975. She then earned her law degree from the South Texas College of Law in 1979, and was admitted to the Florida Bar that same year.

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