George Zimmerman arraigned, waives his right to a speedy trial


George Zimmerman takes the stand during his bond hearing for the shooting death of Trayvon Martin in Sanford, Florida on Apr. 20, 2012. He has since entered a plea of not guilty.



George Zimmerman was formally arraigned in a Sanford, Florida court on Tuesday, but did not attend his arraignment, according to the Orlando Sentinel

Zimmerman, the neighborhood watchman accused of the second-degree murder of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin, is currently free on $150,000 bond. He entered a 'not guilty' plea, claiming he acted in self-defense, MSNBC reported

More from GlobalPost: Trayvon Martin case: Zimmerman pleads not guilty

His attorney Mark O'Mara, who waived Zimmerman's appearance at the arraignment, also filed a motion on Tuesday requesting a waiver of a speedy trial, according to MSNBC.

O'Mara argued that his client needs more time to prepare, which means that the start of Zimmerman's second-degree murder trial could be pushed to October or later, the Los Angeles Times reported

O'Mara and the lead prosecutor in the case also didn't attend the arraignment, which was largely a formality and took "less than 30 seconds," a court administration official told the Sentinel. 

The judge set Zimmerman's pre-trial hearing for August 8, WMKG Orlando reported.  

More from GlobalPost: George Zimmerman: 7 fascinating facts

Prosecutors are likely pleased to have the extra time to line up expert witnesses and analyze police audiotapes, Kenneth B. Nunn, a professor and criminal law expert at the University of Florida, told the Los Angeles Times. Nunn said he wouldn't be surprised if the trial actually began sometime in the spring of 2013, according to the Times. 

Sanford police did not arrest Zimmerman for shooting Martin until six weeks after the incident, sparking national outcry and racial tensions.