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George Zimmerman Found Not Guilty in Shooting Death of Trayvon Martin


On Saturday, July 13, 2013 a Florida jury acquitted George Zimmerman in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin. The verdict was announced on the second day of deliberations by a jury of six women who had the option of convicting Zimmerman of second-degree murder or manslaughter.

“I think the prosecution of George Zimmerman was disgraceful,” defense attorney Don West said. “As happy as I am for George Zimmerman, I’m thrilled that this jury kept this tragedy from becoming a travesty. For that, we are eternally grateful.” Tracy Martin, Trayvon’s father, took to Twitter to express his feelings toward the not guilty verdict.“Even though I am brokenhearted my faith is unshattered,” he said.

Zimmerman, 29, who is of white and Hispanic descent, said he was acting in self-defense when he shot the unarmed Martin during their altercation in Sanford, Fla., on Feb. 26, 2012. Zimmerman pleaded not guilty throughout the case to the charges against him.

When the trial unfolded a year later, prosecutors argued the volunteer neighborhood watchman was a wannabe cop who “profiled” Martin as the teen walked back from buying Skittles at a 7-Eleven, and then followed him against the advice of the police dispatcher he called to report a suspicious person. The defense told jurors that Zimmerman was just doing his civic duty when he was ambushed by Martin, punched in the face and slammed repeatedly into concrete before he fired a single shot that pierced the teen’s heart.

Over the course of testimony, 56 witnesses took the stand, including Martin’s and Zimmerman’s parents, who disagreed about who was heard yelling for help in the background of a 911 call made by a resident of the Retreat at Twin Lakes during the fatal confrontation. Zimmerman did not testify, but his call to the non-emergency police line, his statements to investigators and even a TV interview were part of the evidence jurors could consider. The panel was also given photos of Zimmerman’s injuries and pictures of Martin’s body at the scene and at the morgue.

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