SANFORD, FLA. -- A judge in central Florida ruled that statements made by a former neighborhood watch volunteer to detectives shortly after a fatal shooting could be made public.
But judge Kenneth Lester ruled that the identities of witnesses who observed the confrontation between George Zimmerman and Trayvon Martin would remain under wraps.
Zimmerman is charged with second degree murder in the death of the teenager.
As a rule, the identities of witnesses are released as part of the discovery process in trials.
In this case, however, both the prosecution and the defense had argued in favor of keeping the identities private. They had expressed concerns that the media would engage in a frenzy of witness-chasing that would border on stalking.
They had also expressed a concern that the release of identities could jeopardize Zimmerman's right to a fair trial.
The media then launched a full challenge to this, calling for the publication of the witness identities.
The judge turned them down flat.
Zimmerman is charged with second degree murder in the death of Trayvon Martin.
He has pleaded not guilty.