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TODAY   |  April 30, 2013

George Zimmerman heads back to court

Today’s hearing could set the stage for the type of defense George Zimmerman may use in his June trial for killing Trayvon Martin. Prosecutors are expected to argue whether he plans to use Florida’s controversial “stand your ground” law. NBC’s Kerry Sanders reports.

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>> the shooting death of trayvon martin is back in the headlines this morning. a key hearing is being held for george zimmerman who is accused of second degree murder in the case. kerry sanders is in sanford, florida . good morning.

>> reporter: good morning, matt. the hearing later this morning is significant because it could set the stage for the type of defense that george zimmerman may or may not be allowed to use. george zimmerman admits he killed 17-year-old trayvon martin but has always maintained he shot the teen in self-defense. trayvon martin was unarmed. today, prosecutors are expected to argue if zimmerman plans to use florida 's controversial stand your ground law to prove he's not guilty. he has to do it now, before trial. trayvon martin's family attorney, ben krump.

>> if he is going to argue it, we believe it should be done before the trial.

>> reporter: zimmerman 's legal team disagrees. they may use a stand your ground immunity defense in front of the jury in june rather than in front of the judge now.

>> knowing we are going to try the case, get the acquittal from the jury. verdict but we hope for the acquittal. why do we need to have the judge address the issue of immunity if we only want her to address criminal immunity, we'll get it from the jury.

>> we think it will confuse the jury if they attempt to argue stand your ground during the course of the trial.

>> reporter: it's the latest in what has become a harsh back and forth between the two sides. prosecutors labeled him a grandstander who courts anything resembling a microphone or camera. omera calls those scurrilous, unfounded attacks that should be stricken from the record . legal experts say it's a side sideshow. the main question today -- stand your ground .

>> the defense is being strategic. they avoid the risk a judge may avoid the claim.

>> reporter: george zimmerman has sued for dech medication and the company has denied his allegations. jury selection in the second degree murder trial against george zimmerman is scheduled to begin in a little more than six weeks. savannah?

>> kerry sanders in sanford, florida ,