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Oct 17, 2012 1:52 PM by Lauren Molenburg

New judge in Trayvon Martin case holds 1st hearing

SANFORD, Florida (AP) - A new judge will hear how close lawyers are to being ready for trial in the murder case of a Florida neighborhood watch volunteer accused of shooting an unarmed teenager.

George Zimmerman, charged with second-degree murder, is not expected to be in court Wednesday for the procedural hearing.

Judge Debra S. Nelson was appointed to the case in late August after an appeals' court found that the former judge made disparaging remarks about Zimmerman's character and advocated for additional charges against him during a bond hearing.

The 29-year-old is charged with shooting 17-year-old Trayvon Martin in February. Zimmerman has claimed self-defense and is pleading not guilty.

A hearing is also set for Friday for the judge to hear arguments on several new motions.

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

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