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George Zimmerman’s lawyers get prosecution files in Trayvon Martin case

By Rene Stutzman, Orlando Sentinel –

ORLANDO, Fla. — Two weeks ago, attorneys for George Zimmerman, charged in the shooting death of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin, complained that prosecutors weren’t releasing FBI records and other investigation details, but on Thursday, prosecutors filed paperwork showing they had provided the information.

The newly released evidence includes five FBI reports, 10 reports by employees of the Florida Department of Law Enforcement and details and notes from the files of department scientists who did DNA and other evidence analysis.

Prosecutors also disclosed the identities of a dozen new state witnesses, although Assistant State Attorney Bernie de la Rionda characterized most as category “b” or “c” witnesses, meaning there are not expected to be prominent at Zimmerman’s trial.

One is the physician’s assistant who treated Zimmerman. Three others are Zimmerman’s neighbors.

The new information was released two weeks after a hearing in Sanford at which defense attorneys Mark O’Mara and Don West complained that prosecutors were withholding evidence.

They were especially interested in FBI records, because that agency took the lead in a federal civil rights investigation launched by the U.S. Justice Department.

Civil rights leaders, including the Rev. Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton and Rep. Corrine Brown, D-Fla., demanded the federal investigation because Sanford police did not immediately arrest Zimmerman, who claims he acted in self-defense when he shot the unarmed Martin on Feb.26.

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