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George Zimmerman statements can be released - judge

George Zimmerman, who was arrested and charged in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin, is seen in this booking photo on Wednesday, April 11, 2012. (Seminole County Sheriff`s Office)

June 13, 2012 12:00:00 AM PDT
A judge ruled on Wednesday that statements George Zimmerman made to detectives after he fatally shot Trayvon Martin can be released to the public.

But Circuit Judge Kenneth Lester said that the identities of witnesses who observed the fatal confrontation in February between Zimmerman and the 17-year-old can stay private, provided the witnesses haven't been identified previously.

"The innocent witnesses who have performed their civic or moral duty by reporting what they observed to law enforcement should not have their lives turned upside-down for having done so," Lester wrote.

Despite arguments from prosecutors and the defense attorney, Lester said disclosing Zimmerman's statements to police detectives wouldn't jeopardize his ability to get a fair trial.

Lester also ruled that tests given to Zimmerman after the shooting could be released, as well as some crime-scene photos and Zimmerman's recorded telephone calls from jail.

It was phone conversations he had with his wife that prompted the judge to revoke Zimmerman's bond. They also led to the arrest on Tuesday of his wife, Shellie Zimmerman, who is accused of lying about how much money the family had.

Zimmerman has a second bond hearing scheduled for the end of the month.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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