Trayvon Martin Case Gets New Judge After Recusal

The new judge in the case will hear his first arguments as early as Friday during a bond hearing.

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Tom Benitez / The Orlando Sentinel-Pool / Getty Images

Circuit Judge Jessica Recksiedler, who has recused herself from presiding over the second degree murder case for the shooting death of Trayvon Martin, is pictured during a short status hearing on April 13, 2012 in Sanford, Florida.

Jessica Recksiedler, the circuit court judge originally assigned to the trial of George Zimmerman in the death of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin, has recused herself following a request by Zimmerman’s lawyer. Florida Circuit Court Judge Ken Lester Jr. has been named to preside over the case in her place.

(PHOTOS: Faces of Protest for Trayvon Martin)

As the Orlando Sentinel reports,¬† attorney Mark O’Mara requested that¬†Recksiedler step down citing a potential conflict of interests: her husband’s law partner, Mark NeJame, has been hired to give commentary on the case for CNN. NeJame was also originally approached by Zimmerman’s family for legal counsel, although he declined.

(MORE: Forensics Experts: Zimmerman Not Heard Screaming for Help in 911 Call)

Lester, who has sat on the Florida bench for 15 years, is expected to preside over Zimmerman’s bond hearing on Friday. The 28-year-old has pleaded not guilty and O’Mara has said he hopes to get his client out of jail while he plans his legal strategy.

Zimmerman was charged with second-degree murder last week in Feb. 26 shooting death of the unarmed black teenager in a case fraught with racial tension. He told police that he fired his weapon in self defense and had initially not faced charges until Special Prosecutor Angela Corey was assigned amid massive media attention and public protests.

(MORE: Report: Police Initially Wanted to Make Arrest in Trayvon Martin Case)

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