Zimmerman stands before judge for the Trayvon Martin shooting
Saturday, April 14, 2012
Florida neighborhood watch captain who shot teenager in February, stepped into court for his first appearance Thursday afternoon after his arrest the previous night. The judge found probable cause in the charges of second degree , but Zimmerman's lawyer held off on making a bail request out of concern for his clients safety., the
|It is the search for justice for Trayvon that has brought us to this moment.|
—Angela Corey, Florida special prosecutor
At a Wednesday evening news conference in Jacksonville, Florida, special prosecutorannounced Zimmerman willingly turned himself in. A law enforcement official said at the time Zimmerman was in custody at the in Florida. Corey said, "It is the search for justice for Trayvon that has brought us to this moment."
Zimmerman, 28, was involved in an altercation with the 17-year-oldthat led to Martin’s death the night of February 26 in , Florida. Zimmerman claimed self-defense when he shot Martin. Martin was in a gated community returning to the house he and his father were staying at carrying a pack of candy and iced tea when Zimmerman followed him and called the police to report a "suspicious" character. Since then, black leaders have demanded justice for a murder that they believe to be driven by race.
Zimmerman’s arrest and charge occurred after his lawyers announced Tuesday they were quitting the case after having no contact with him since Sunday. They also said Zimmerman was in a fragile mental state.
In Florida, a person charged with second-degree murder can spend life in prison, and the charge is usually when a confrontation ends with the death one of the parties involved. Florida also has a, which means people can use deadly force in cases of self-defense, which is expected to play a major role in the case. In the United States, 24 states, including Florida, have such a law while the other 27 states do not. The pushed for the law's passage in Florida seven years ago.
Trayvon Martin’s parents, Tracy Martin and Sybrina Fulton, have been publicly calling for Zimmerman to be prosecuted. They appeared at a press conference after the special prosecutor's announcement with Reverend Washington, D.C. Fulton said, "We simply wanted an arrest. We wanted nothing more and nothing less, we just wanted an arrest. And we got it."in
Zimmerman's lawyer Mark O’Mara has already signaled that his client will plead not guilty at a future hearing which the judge set for May 29, but he also expects to request bail for his client once safety details are worked out.
- Associated Press. "Zimmerman makes court appearance in Trayvon case" — , April 12, 2012
- Lizette Alvarez. "2nd-degree murder charge in shooting" — , April 11, 2012
- Sonya Ross and Suzanne Gamboa (AP). "Trayvon Martin parents elated by Zimmerman arrest" — , April 11, 2012
- Gary Fineout and Brendan Farrington. "Second-degree murder charge in Trayvon Martin case" — , April 11, 2012
- Sari Horwitz. "George Zimmerman is charged with 2nd-degree murder in Trayvon Martin shooting" — , April 11, 2012
- Cora Currier. "The 23 states that have sweeping self-defense laws just like Florida’s" — , March 22, 2012, 1:05 p.m.