Oct. 19, 2012 -- Trayvon Martin's school records and social media profiles will be turned over to the defense team of his killer, George Zimmerman, ahead of Zimmerman's murder trial, a judge ruled today.
Judge Debra Nelson ruled today that the academic, attendance and disciplinary records, along with the 17-year-old's Twitter and Facebook accounts, would be made available to Zimmerman's attorneys. The information could become public if Zimmerman's attorneys use it at trial.
Martin was shot and killed while walking home unarmed on Feb. 26, 2012, from a deli near his father's fiancee's house. He was serving a 10-day suspension from school at the time of his shooting.
Zimmerman has said that he shot Martin in self-defense, and has claimed the Stand Your Ground law as his defense. The details of the confrontation between Martin and Zimmerman will likely be a key part of Zimmerman's trial.
Martin's parents, Tracy Martin and Sybrina Fulton, argued ahead of the hearing that their son's school records were irrelevant to the case and should be not given to the defense team.
"First I'd like to say that Trayvon was the victim," Tracy Martin said. "As human beings, our first priority shouldn't be to assassinate the character of the victims and make it seem as though they're the perpetrator."
"We just think it's terrible precedent to set that a dead child's records are now berated by his murderer as justification for his killing," said Benjamin Crump, the attorney for Martin's parents. "This is a slippery slope."
Nelson also ruled that Zimmerman's medical records for the month leading up the shooting would be made available to prosecutors.
In records released by prosecutors earlier this year, Zimmerman was shown to have taken medications on the night of the murder including Librax and Temazapam, which treat digestive problems, anxiety, and sleeplessness.
Zimmerman's attorney, Mark O'Mara, also released records showing that Zimmerman took Adderall, which treats attention disorders, and Omeprazole, which treats digestive problems.
"If the court sees fit to release Trayvon's confidential school records, then we demand the release of George Zimmerman's medical records. They are far more relevant as to why he shot and killed Trayvon Martin on Feb. 26," said Crump.
During the press conference before the hearing, Martin's parents also touted their newly-created organization, Change for Trayvon, which aims to change Stand Your Ground laws in 32 states around the country. The law, which Zimmerman has evoked in Travyon's killing, allows individuals to shoot someone if they feel threatened without first having to try to escape the situation.
"I hope you all have not forgotten about my son because I certainly have not forgotten about him," Sybrina Martin said. "It is important to remember Trayvon was a minor. He had just turned 17 years old. He was just a kid up against a grown adult, so it's very difficult. That's the reason we have created the Change for Trayvon committee, to draft legislation that we can take to legislators so they can support us."
Martin's parents released a website, ChangeforTrayvon.com, on Tuesday. They are asking for donations to help raise awareness about the law and said all contributions will go directly to elected officials, campaigns, and candidates who advocate for changes to existing legislation.
"Trayvon is dead, and there's nothing we can do to bring him back," Tracy Martin said. "I ask that mothers, daughters, sons, fathers, brothers, and uncles, I ask you to join us in our efforts in becoming ambassadors, becoming spokespersons for Change for Trayvon. We feel as though together we can make a difference."