Why are George Zimmerman’s lawyers seeking Trayvon Martin’s school records?

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Lawyers for the family of Trayvon Martin, the Miami teenager shot to death in February by a neighborhood watch volunteer, are raising objections to a defense request for Martin’s school records, calling the defense request a “witch hunt.”

George Zimmerman, 28, is charged with second degree murder in the death of Martin, 17. His attorney, Mark O’Mara, announced last week on the defense website that he would seek school records, including Martin’s grades from Dr. Michael M. Krop Senior High School in Miami. Martin was in Sanford, Florida with his father at the time he was killed, having been sent there by his mother after he was suspended from school. Martin’s suspension was related to the discovery of a baggie containing traces of marijuana in his possession. The unarmed teen was shot to death by Zimmerman as he walked to his father’s girlfriend’s home after purchasing candy and iced tea at a local 7-Eleven. Zimmerman is claiming self-defense.

“Trayvon Martin’s school records are totally irrelevant to this case,” attorney Ben Crump told theGrio, adding that he believes lawyers for George Zimmerman are requesting the records in order to smear the dead teen. Crump and the other attorneys representing the family have previously objected to the defense’s use of grainy stills from the 7-Eleven security camera, which captured the teen shortly before his fatal encounter with Zimmerman. Prosecutor Bernie de la Rionda criticized Zimmerman’s lawyer for displaying the stills in court during Zimmerman’s June 29 bond hearing, accusing the defense of trying to put forward a sinister image of the teen.

The defense has also stated it will seek “other items including potentially relevant data from social media platforms, reports related to chain of custody to key evidence, interviews and more.”

Judge Debra Nelson, who was assigned to the case last month after the previous trial judge was removed by an appeals court, is expected to rule on whether to allow the school records to be handed over to the defense within the next week.

Meanwhile, more evidence is expected to be released this week by prosecutors.

Follow Joy Reid on Twitter at @thereidreport.