Trayvon Martin: The Latest, Week 51

Defense wants to question the 17-year-old Trayvon was talking to the night he was killed Plus: Trayvon's parents to sue Zimmerman for wrongful death?

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George Zimmerman and his defense team (Getty Images News)

Friday, Feb. 22, 4:59 p.m. EST: Zimmerman's attorney wants to question the girl Trayvon Martin was talking to the night he was killed: Zimmerman's lead attorney, Mark O'Mara, wants to question the woman known as Witness 8, the Huffington Post reports. Described as a friend of the 17-year-old Trayvon, she originally recounted the conversation she had with him to Benjamin Crump in a recorded phone interview.

Thursday, Feb. 21, 12:51 p.m. EST: George Zimmerman’s wife will stand trial on perjury charges: Shelli Zimmerman is accused of lying under oath during her husband's first bond hearing about how much money was in their PayPal account. Her lawyer tried to argue that the perjury charges should never have been filed and were unrelated to her husband's second-degree-murder case in the shooting death of the unarmed Trayvon Martin, according to WFTV 9. But Seminole County Judge Marlene Alva disagreed, saying that accusations that Shelli lied during the bond hearing are directly related to Trayvon's case.

Thursday, Feb. 21, 9:33 a.m. EST: Trayvon Martin's parents to sue Zimmerman for wrongful death? According to paperwork filed on behalf of Martin family attorney Benjamin Crump by Orlando attorney Bruce Blackwell, "Attorney Crump has been retained by the victim's parents to assert civil claims against defendant." The pleading suggests the claim or suit would be for wrongful death or negligence but offers no details, the Orlando Sentinel reports.

Wednesday, Feb. 20, 11:11 a.m. EST: Meet Sanford's new black police chief: Incoming Sanford police Chief Cecil Smith is scheduled to take his new post on April 1, just days before George Zimmerman's scheduled "Stand your ground" hearing, WFTV reports. Sanford's Police Department was widely criticized for how long it took to charge Zimmerman in last year's shooting of unarmed teen Trayvon Martin. But Smith says Sanford's problem is not "a Trayvon Martin problem." "Sanford has had issues for many, many years," he said. "We have to let it go through the court system. The court has to make the decision whether Mr. Zimmerman is guilty or not guilty, but my goal in the Police Department is to make sure nothing like this happens again."

Monday, Feb. 18, 11:14 a.m. EST: George Zimmerman's defense considers requesting to combine his trial and "Stand your ground" hearing: With two major court dates on the horizon for Zimmerman's second-degree-murder case, defense attorney Mark O'Mara has suggested that his team may ultimately ask for the trial and "Stand your ground" hearing to be combined, the Orlando Sentinel reports. With the hearing scheduled for April 22 and, depending on the outcome, a trial on June 10, O'Mara said his team is crunched for time. He is concerned because the judge has made it clear that she will not grant a continuance "unless there are extenuating, extraordinary circumstances." To observers, O'Mara and other attorneys told the Sentinel, a combination hearing-trial would likely look a lot like a normal trial: A jury would be selected, and the state and defense would present their cases. But the jury would be placed in limbo while the defense tries to convince the judge to end the case herself.

Read last week's updates on the Trayvon Martin case here.

Read all of The Root's news and commentary about the Trayvon Martin case here

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