George Zimmerman stands with his defense attorneys Mark O'Mara, left, and Don West at Seminole circuit court, in Sanford, Fla., for a pre-trial hearing Friday, June 7, 2013.
SANFORD, Florida (AP/WTSP) - A Florida judge has denied a defense request to delay the start of the trial of a neighborhood watch volunteer charged in the fatal shooting of an unarmed teen.
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Circuit Judge Debra Nelson rejected the delay request Monday in the first order of business on the first day of George Zimmerman's second-degree murder trial.
Zimmerman is charged with fatally shooting 17-year-old Trayvon Martin last year during a fight in a gated community outside Orlando.
Defense attorney Mark O'Mara says the defense needs several more weeks to prepare. He blamed prosecutors for a delay in turning over evidence and said he needs time to interview an attorney for Martin's family.
Prosecutors opposed the request for a delay.
Also on Monday, Trayvon Martin's family issued the following statement:
"We are relieved that the trial is starting today with the selection of jury members. We are seeking justice for our son and a fair trial. Trayvon's life was taken unnecessarily and tragically, but we call upon the community to be peaceful. We have placed our faith in the justice system and ask that the community do the same. Please pray for Trayvon and for our family."