A panel of three judges voted 2-1 that Stanford Circuit Judge Kenneth Lester’s statements directed towards Zimmerman were enough to grant Zimmerman’s motion and assign a new judge to the case. “Accordingly, we direct the trial judge to enter an order of disqualification which requests the chief circuit judge to appoint a successor judge,” the ruling read.
Initially, Circuit Court Judge Kenneth Lester, refused to recuse himself and denied Zimmerman’s motion for a new judge as it was “legally insufficient.” Judge C. Alan Lawson of the Fifth District Court of Appeal stated “… this is admittedly a close call,” however Judge Lester’s actions and statements towards Zimmerman met the legal standard requiring him to step aside.
This is the second judge to be removed from Zimmerman’s case. Judge Jessica Recksiedler first removed herself from the case in April due to a conflict of interest.
The order was released late Wednesday afternoon. A new judge will likely be assigned to Zimmerman’s case on Wednesday evening.