George Zimmerman Charged With Second-Degree Murder in Trayvon Martin Case

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George Zimmerman will face criminal charges in the death of Trayvon Martin.

According to a senior law enforcement quoted by CNN, CBS, ABC, NBC and the Associated Press, the neighborhood watch captain in Sanford, Fla., will be charged criminally in the February 26 case that has captivated the nation.

A legal analyst said earlier that the most likely charge would be manslaughter, but it was just announced that Zimmerman faces second-degree murder charges.

George Zimmerman Picture

A press conference announcing the decision took place at 6 p.m. Wednesday.

Angela Corey, the special prosecutor appointed by Florida Gov. Rick Scott to look into the incident, stated earlier that she would not take the case to a grand jury.

That automatically ruled out first-degree murder as an option, but the second-degree murder charge was still on the table - and ultimately what Corey decided.

“I can tell you we absolutely did not come to this decision lightly,” Corey told reporters moments ago. “We do not prosecute by public pressure.”

Zimmerman is in custody, Corey confirmed, though she gave no additional details. CNN reports that he surrendered to local officials earlier today.

Lawyers for Zimmerman, 28, stepped down from the case Tuesday, saying he'd become uncommunicative and expressing concern for his emotional and physical well-being.

"As of the last couple days, he has not returned phone calls, text messages or emails," Craig Sonner, one of Zimmerman's former attorneys, said. 

"He's gone on his own. I'm not sure what he's doing or who he's talking to. I cannot go forward speaking to the public about George Zimmerman and this case and continue representing him because I've lost contact with him."

Describing Zimmerman as "emotionally crippled" by the scrutiny he's faced in the wake of the shooting, attorney Hal Uhrig said Tuesday that he and Sonner are concerned for their former client's mental and physical well-being.

They also implied that he may have considered leaving Florida in the wake of the intense media scrutiny, but that's a moot point now.

Trayvon Martin Pic

Sonner and Uhrig told reporters that Zimmerman, against their advice, had contacted the special prosecutor, Corey. He also set up his own website to collect donations without his lawyers' knowledge, they have said.

George Zimmerman, who is half white and half Hispanic, maintains he was acting in self-defense when he shot the African-American Trayvon Martin, 17.

Zimmerman has said he shot Martin in self-defense after the youth struck him in the face, knocked him down and began pounding his head into the ground.

But many believe Zimmerman was in fact the aggressor, emboldened by his status as the self-appointed neighborhood watch captain in his neighborhood.

The teen was killed shortly after Zimmerman called 911 after seeing him walking in his neighborhood at night, stirring national debate over racial profiling.

Martin was unarmed at the time, but police found insufficient evidence to prove that Zimmerman acted outside the controversial "Stand Your Ground" law.

The Florida state law broadly permits the use of deadly force if a person is attacked and fearing severe harm or death and acting in self-defense.

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they made a big deal about this what about the white boy who got burned on his pouch we don't hear anything about that. am sorry to the familys lost

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Should have been charged that night instead of ripping our country apart.

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Murder in the 2nd degree according to CNN.

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Zimmerman is a Hispanic name? Haahhaahaahaaa! So many good laughs today.

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Hahaaahaahaaahah! Shaken baby syndrome indeed. Haaaahahhahhaaa!

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Yes,the authorities need to manufacture charges against this HISPANIC (he's NOT white) so the black population in Florida doesn't loot,burn and use it as a reason to destroy their cities and communities.This shouldn't even be national news,it should be a state and local story.Race baiters' Obongo and Holder have led the charge from the beginning,,,,,

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@Triumphant: Actually CNN is reporting that he has just turned himself in. And I just let out a big whoop! Theres hope for our system yet.

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Zimmerman is MIA according to multiple other sites. His defense is shaken baby syndrome. His own family said he is acting odd.

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Great! Now can they get him into custody before he flees the country. @boriqua: you're right. The writer is playing up some racist nonsense. If this site must indicate his race they should atleast be truthful & state he is only half hispanic on his mums side.

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Why do they point him out as a Hispanic, media is making a big deal on the race card!

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