JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Action News is getting your questions answered about how George Zimmerman's defense attorney will prepare the case.
George Zimmerman sits in a Seminole County jail cell after facing a judge for the first time since his arrest. He was led into the courtroom Thursday in shackles where he pleaded not guilty to the murder of Trayvon Martin. Zimmerman will be arraigned on second degree murder charges at the end of May.
In the meanwhile, his attorney will try to get him bonded out of jail. We're also hearing exactly why Zimmerman was charged. The probable cause affidavit details an interview with Trayvon's friend, presumably his girlfriend, who was on the phone with him before the shooting. Documents show Martin told the friend he was being followed and was scared.
The report says Martin tried to run home but Zimmerman got out of his truck and followed him, disregarding the 911 dispatcher who told him not to. The affidavit also says Martin's mother identified screams in the background of a 9-1-1 call as her son's.
George Zimmerman's lawyer was by his side in court Thursday. Mark O'Mara barely knows his client. He was hired the day Zimmerman was arrested. So he's still trying to figure out exactly what happened the night Trayvon martin was killed.
"He's going to have a tough road," said Mitch Stone. Stone isn't working on Zimmerman's case, but he's watched it closely. A former prosecutor, now defense lawyer, Stone had three stand your ground cases against State Attorney Angela Corey's office. He won one of them.
From experience, Stone knows certain evidence will be key. "The trajectory of the bullet, where it was fired, where powder was located and Zimmerman's injuries."
Stone says the big thing is to get all the evidence in the order it happened. "The first order is to see who started the conflict. I don't think by following Martin that means he started it," said Stone.
Even the smallest of details can make a difference and forensic evidence can be hard to argue against if it doesn't match what Zimmerman says happened that night. "If Zimmerman started the fight, they'll have a hard time using stand your ground defense," said Stone.
Zimmerman's attorney says the state will pay for his defense.