Saturday, July 13, 2013

Zimmerman found not guilty in shooting death of Trayvon Martin

George Zimmerman in 2012 
By Michael O'Brien

SANFORD, Fla. – In a trial that has divided much of the country, a Seminole County jury found defendant George Zimmerman, 28, not guilty in the death of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin. Zimmerman was charged with shooting the Sanford teenager once in the chest February 26, 2012 during a confrontation at the Retreat at Twin Lakes. Zimmerman and Martin were both residents of the community.
Prosecutors had charged Zimmerman with second-degree murder with a lessor and included charge of manslaughter. The trial began June 10 in the Seminole County Courthouse with Judge Debra Nelson presiding.
Zimmerman’s lead defense attorney Mark O’Mara contended his client was acting in self-defense after the teen allegedly assaulted Zimmerman, leaving him no choice but to shoot Martin. Florida had enacted a so-called Stand Your Ground statute in 2005, allowing someone who believed their live was in danger or they were in danger of grievous bodily harm to use lethal force.
The prosecution argued Zimmerman initiated the confrontation and Martin was simply walking home at the time of his death.
Martin, wearing a “hoodie” or hooded sweatshirt, was returning to his step-father’s home from a local convenience store with a bag of Skittles and some iced tea when he was confronted by Zimmerman. Zimmerman, a self-described neighborhood watch captain, was armed with a concealed 9mm semi-automatic handgun when he spotted Martin walking down the street.
Zimmerman called a non-emergency police dispatcher to report what he believed to be a suspicious black male walking down the street on night punctuated by light rain. Zimmerman claimed the teen was stalking his vehicle, looked to be under the influence of drugs and peering into the windows of homes in the gated community.

Zimmerman can be heard in transcripts of 911 calls telling a dispatcher he was following Martin on foot. The dispatcher had advised Zimmerman there was no need to pursue Martin.
According to Zimmerman, the teen sucker punched him and slammed his head on the sidewalk. Eye witness of the accounts of the struggle varied. While Zimmerman did sustain minor injuries, the prosecution said the injuries while not sufficient to immunize him from prosecution under the stand your ground statute.

Twitter @cleverpeasant 

No comments:

Post a Comment