GEORGE ZIMMERMAN CHARGED WITH 2ND-DEGREE MURDER IN SHOOTING DEATH OF TRAYVON MARTIN

Here is an update on the Trayvon Martin shooting which occurred on February 26, 2012. As of today, George Zimmerman is now being charged with 2nd-degree manslaughter.

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George Zimmerman is charged with 2nd-degree murder in Trayvon Martin shooting

Martin’s killing by George Zimmerman: A timeline of the case: The fatal shooting of Trayvon Martin in a gated Florida community by neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman on Feb. 26 has sparked protests around the country.

By Sari Horwitz, Updated: Wednesday, April 11, 5:34 PM

The Washington Post

George Zimmerman, the neighborhood watch volunteer who shot and killed unarmed Trayvon Martin, was charged with second-degree murder Wednesday in a case that has riveted the nation.Florida special prosecutor Angela Corey announced the charge at an early-evening news conference in Jacksonville. She said Zimmerman had turned himself in and was being held in the state.
Florida special prosecutor Angela Corey announces that she is charging George Zimmerman with second-degree murder for the shooting of Trayvon Martin.

Florida special prosecutor Angela Corey announces that she is charging George Zimmerman with second-degree murder for the shooting of Trayvon Martin.

“It is the search for justice for Trayvon that has brought us to this moment,” Corey said. She said she had informed Martin’s parents of the outcome of her investigation.Under Florida law, a conviction is punishable by life in prison.Martin, 17, was fatally shot Feb. 26 while walking to a townhouse in Sanford, Fla., where he was staying with his father and his father’s fiancee. He was on the way back from nearby convenience store, where he bought a bottle of iced tea and a bag of Skittles.Zimmerman, who had called the police to report a suspicious person in his neighborhood, has maintained that he was acting in self-defense when he pulled a 9 mm and shot Martin, who was unarmed, after the two got into a scuffle.

Sanford police decided not to charge Zimmerman, citing Florida’s “stand your ground” law, which allows a person to use force in self-defense when there is a reasonable belief of a threat. The decision prompted a wave of protests, led in part by Martin’s parents.

His mother, Sybrina Fulton, expressed appreciation Wednesday evening for the prosecutor’s action.

“We feel much closer to justice with the decision to bring charges against our son’s killer. We are thankful to the millions of people around the world who signed the petition on Change.org and called for justice for Trayvon,” she said in a statement.

Zimmerman has been in hiding for more than 40 days since the incident. The two lawyers who had been representing Zimmerman, Craig Sonner and Hal Uhrig, withdrew from the case Tuesday, saying Zimmerman had taken actions without consulting them.

Media reports Wednesday said Zimmerman had retained new counsel.

Benjamin Crump, the attorney for Trayvon Martin’s parents, has said for days that he was “cautiously optimistic” that Zimmerman would be arrested and charged in the case. The Martins were in Washington on Wednesday to attend the annual convention of the National Action Network, a civil rights organization founded by Rev. Al Sharpton.

Sharpton has helped lead some of the protests demanding Zimmerman’s arrest. Many of the protesters wore hooded sweatshirts in memory of Martin, who was described by Zimmerman as wearing a hoodie when he called the 911 dispatcher the night of the shooting.

Corey, a Florida state attorney, was appointed by Gov. Rick Scott to investigate the case after State Attorney Norm Wolfinger recused himself. Wolfinger had scheduled a grand jury for April 10, but Corey announced this week that she was not going to bring the Martin case before the grand jury.

SOURCE

Read more on this story:

George Zimmerman’s lawyers withdraw from case

Poll: Stark racial divide in opinions on Trayvon Martin case

Post Partisan: Why no grand jury in Trayvon Martin case is a good sign

Martin killing resonates in Connecticut town still healing from racial fissures

The Root: Trayvon Martin subject of racial epithets in Michigan

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GEORGE ZIMMERMAN SPEAKS OUT ON HIS OWN TERMS

Lauren Fox U.S. News & World Report
April 11, 2012
George Zimmerman, the man at the center of the Trayvon Martin shooting controversy, spoke out Tuesday on his own terms.
Zimmerman has remained silent, but through his new websitehe speaks directly to supporters.
Set against an American flag background, Zimmerman appears on the site not to tell his side of the story or divulge details about the case, which is under federal and state investigation, but instead asks for donations to help him in his new life.
He writes that since Martin’s death, he has been so heavily criticized and followed by the media that he had to leave his home, his job, his family and “essentially [his] entire life.” Martin died from gunshot wounds following a confrontation with Zimmerman in a gated community in Sanford, Fla.
The site is an explicit thank you to those who have defended him. The site, shows two photos of graffiti messages for Zimmerman. Above the photos, Zimmerman quotes playwright Henrik Ibsen.
“A thousand words will not leave so deep an impression as one deed,” the quote says. Then Zimmerman adds, “this page is dedicated to persons whom have displayed their support of Justice for All.”
Zimmerman also addresses the question of racism surrounding the case, quoting Thomas Paine.
Zimmerman’s lawyer Craig Sonner told Reuters that his client is behind the site.
See the message Zimmerman wrote to supporters on his homepage below:
I am the real George Zimmerman,
On Sunday February 26th, I was involved in a life altering event which led me to become the subject of intense media coverage. As a result of the incident and subsequent media coverage, I have been forced to leave my home, my school, my employer, my family and ultimately, my entire life. This website’s sole purpose is to ensure my supporters they are receiving my full attention without any intermediaries.
It has come to my attention that some persons and/or entities have been collecting funds, thinly veiled as my “Defense Fund” or “Legal Fund”. I cannot attest to the validity of these other websites as I have not received any funds collected, intended to support my family and I through this trying, tragic time.
I have created a Paypal account solely linked on this website as I would like to provide an avenue to thank my supporters personally and ensure that any funds provided are used only for living expenses and legal defense, in lieu of my forced inability to maintain employment. I will also personally, maintain accountability of all funds received. I reassure you, every donation is appreciated.
Sincerely,
George Zimmerman
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