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Judge Rejects Prosecution’s Request for a Gag Order in Zimmerman Case

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(CNN) — The judge in the murder case of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin has denied a prosecution’s motion for a gag order, but noted the court could reconsider if attorneys in the case write or say anything considered prejudicial.

“At this time, there is no demonstrated need to restrict free speech,” Seminole County Circuit Judge Kenneth R. Lester wrote.

The decision — which was made public Tuesday — rejects, among other things, prosecutor concerns over a lack of juror impartiality due to the amount of media coverage surrounding the high-profile case.

“The case should be tried in the courtroom and not in the media,” the motion read in its petition for a gag order.

But Lester wrote that the attorneys had so far represented “the utmost in professionalism in their public statements,” and ruled against the motion.

George Zimmerman, the neighborhood watch volunteer accused of wrongly killing Martin on February 26, was released last week on $150,000 bail, 10% of which was put up to secure his release while he awaits trial on a second-degree murder charge.

Zimmerman was arrested April 11 after a lengthy delay punctuated by protests and rallies nationwide calling for charges against him.

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