By Barbara Liston
ORLANDO, Florida (Reuters) - A Florida prosecutor signaled his opposition on Friday to an attempt by George Zimmerman to delay his June trial for the murder of unarmed black teenager Trayvon Martin, whom he shot and killed a year ago this month.
A judge is expected to hear a delay motion on Tuesday filed by Zimmerman's lawyer, Mark O'Mara, who says he needs another six months to raise money and prepare for the racially-charged trial.
Zimmerman, who maintains he shot Martin in self-defense during a struggle, could face a prison sentence of up to 25 years to life if convicted of second-degree murder.
In a response to the request for a continuance, filed in Seminole County court on Friday, Prosecutor Bernie de la Rionda signaled strong opposition to any delay, accusing O'Mara of spending too much time on media interviews and not enough on interviewing witnesses or examining evidence.
"The state will not tell defense counsel how to do their job, but should not be blamed because it is taking so long" to prepare for trial, de la Rionda wrote.
Zimmerman, who is out of jail on a $1 million bond, is living in hiding in central Florida pending his trial. At the time of the shooting, he was a volunteer neighborhood watch captain in a gated community where Martin was staying with his father.
Prosecutors say Zimmerman profiled Martin as the 17-year-old walked back to the townhome where he was staying, then pursued, confronted and killed him.
Zimmerman is expected to claim self defense under Florida's controversial Stand Your Ground law, which makes it difficult to prosecute anyone who uses deadly force because they fear their life is in danger. He claims Martin attacked him and repeatedly slammed his head into the ground before he shot him. Continued...