Trayvon Martin would have turned 18 Tuesday.
Instead, lawyers for George Zimmerman, the man accused of murdering the teen, and prosecutors were back in court, where a judge denied a motion to delay the June 10 trial date and heard arguments about evidence.
Trayvon Martin in 2008
Meanwhile, Trayvon's family and local leaders have planned community healing and memorial events this week in honor of the teen whose shooting death last year sparked national debates about race, gun laws and the meaning of self-defense.
Zimmerman, a neighborhood watch volunteer, is facing a second-degree murder charge in the Feb. 26 shooting of the 17-year-old in a gated Sanford, Fla., community. Zimmerman is claiming self-defense. Trayvon's family argues the young man was profiled, pursued and murdered.
In court Tuesday, Judge Debra Nelson denied a motion by Zimmerman lawyer Mark O'Mara to delay the trial date. O'Mara argued that the prosecution has been slow to turn over evidence and that he does not have enough time to prepare his case.
"We're four months away from trial," Nelson said. "The court has no reason to continue the case."
Trayvon's family, who chose to stay away from the hearing Tuesday, was happy with Nelson's decision, their attorney Benjamin Crump said.
"The spirit of Trayvon was in the courtroom today," he said. "The family is pleased that the judge did not continue the trial because they want their day in court."
Earlier, Assistant State Attorney Bernie de la Rionda and O'Mara traded arguments.
Source: USA Today | Yamiche Alcindor