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George Zimmerman sits in court during a Dec. 11, 2012, hearing. / Joe Burbank, AP

The prosecutor in the case against a neighborhood watch volunteer charged with murdering Trayvon Martin wants to keep the original trial date of June 10, despite a recent defense request to delay it.

Assistant State Attorney Bernie de la Rionda argues that lawyers for George Zimmerman have spent too much time on news media interviews and Internet postings instead of reviewing evidence and preparing their case.

"We are rapidly approaching the one-year anniversary of Trayvon Martin's death, and are still over four months from the trial date," de la Rionda's motion says, adding later that the case should be tried in a "timely fashion."

De la Rionda argues that Zimmerman's defense team has canceled several scheduled depositions and suggests the team may want to delay because it is running out of money.

"The state understands, based on recent media reports and interviews by defense counsel, that they are almost out of money and in desperate need of an infusion of money," de la Rionda writes.

This week, Zimmerman's defense team started tweeting from @gzdefensefund, an account dedicated to raising money for his legal defense fund.

Thursday, a posting on GZDefenseFund.com said the website had raised $5,200 in less than 24 hours.

"These contributions represent a strong start to this new effort to fund the next phase of the defense," the posting says. "It also demonstrates there are still people out there who feel passionately enough about George's right to a fair trial that they are willing to contribute their hard-earned money."

Earlier this week, Shawn Vincent, a spokesman for Zimmerman's defense team, said attorneys want his second-degree murder trial moved from June to November. Zimmerman has pleaded not guilty.

Mark O'Mara, Zimmerman's attorney, argues in his motion that prosecutors had been slow to turn over evidence. As an example, he said someone from the state attorney's office had removed Trayvon's cellphone from an evidence locker to have it sent to California for analysis, but the state has refused to give him any information about the agency and the type of tests being run on the phone.

O'Mara also says prosecutors had made it difficult for him to get answers to administrative questions from a chief investigative agent and had refused to forward the defense other information on Martin and a witness.

In his motion Friday, de la Rionda says the state has provided information required by Florida law and that prosecutors have worked to produce witnesses and evidence the defense requested.

Meanwhile, de la Rionda accuses the defense of wanting to try to case in the court of public opinion.

"The state again reiterates - this case should be tried in the courtroom and not in the media," the attorney writes.

Contributing: Associated Press



Copyright 2014 USATODAY.com

Read the original story: Lawyers debate trial date in Trayvon Martin murder case

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