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Florida judge rejects request for acquittal for George Zimmerman

Defense attorney Don West (R) stands with George Zimmerman during his second-degree murder trial in Sanford, Florida, July 5, 2013. REUTERS/
Defense attorney Don West (R) stands with George Zimmerman during his second-degree murder trial in Sanford, Florida, July 5, 2013. REUTERS/

SANFORD, Florida (Reuters) - A Florida judge on Friday rejected a request to acquit former neighborhood watchman George Zimmerman of second-degree murder in the shooting death of unarmed black teenager Trayvon Martin.

Defense attorneys for Zimmerman had asked Seminole County Judge Debra Nelson to throw out the case, arguing it was based solely on circumstantial evidence and failed to disprove Zimmerman's claim that he shot and killed Martin in self- defense.

"The court finds that the state has provided sufficient evidence, both direct and circumstantial, to allow the charge to go to the jury," Nelson said.

"The motion for a judgment of acquittal is denied," she said.

(Reporting by Tom Brown and Kevin Gray)

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