Judge: Zimmerman witnesses must testify publicly

SANFORD, Fla. (AP) — A Florida judge has denied a defense request to let a handful of witnesses testify confidentiality during George Zimmerman’s trial for fatally shooting Trayvon Martin.

Zimmerman’s attorney asked the judge Thursday to allow the witnesses to give their testimony out of the public’s eye.

Defense attorney Mark O’Mara says the witnesses have concerns for their safety about testifying at the trial, which starts next week. He says their testimony could impact the jury’s decision.

Prosecutors and attorneys for media groups objected to the request.

Zimmerman is pleading not guilty, claiming self-defense. A delay in Zimmerman’s arrest led to protests nationwide. Martin was black. Zimmerman’s father is white, and his mother is Hispanic.

The trial is expected to last more than a month.

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