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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@Always dot your "i's---Hahahahaha...I can tell I must have not only hit a nerve but was quite correct in what I wrote despite the amount of question marks used to make my point. Let's face it--when it's the ONLY thing that can be said of my comment--then the content has hit home! Besides, this isn't some intellectual blog--just a gossip site--so who cares! Our writing form isn't that critical on HG, but for someone like you this is probably the literary "big time". So go ahead indulge yourself with the fantasy that you're a Jr. High Language Arts teacher or a candidate for a Pulitzer prize. Fact: You are one of the trolls. They are the only ones who attack writing style on this site...you're such a give away!

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just seen the brother on piers morgan tripping over himself. he wont even say what hospital zimmerman had his nose reset at. probably because there is no hospital and the nose was never even brocken. i cant wait for this trial

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Over punctuating your question does not make it more of a question. One question mark would have been quite sufficient, @ Turnandot.

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They need to stop telling us about his damned PTSD. Anyone who needlessly takes a life SHOULD have a severe case of guilty conscience!

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@Neci What racist terms???? Black Panthers? "Wanted Dead or Alive..."???? Rabid dog? Excecution?? Hoodie?????

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People please stop using racist words.....

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I better talk to you now- cause you may change your name in 5 minutes. Amy- Big Picture Dear! Try and look at the big picture! This became a Race Related Crime when Al Sharpton got in it. This "Thing" had so many " Spins" to it. 1st- Race- 2nd- Hoodie- 3rd- Stand your ground law- you would need a score card to figure out the latest Media ( black) beef. There is something terribly wrong in this Country. Black on White Crime is Horrendous - but it can't get any " Print" - that in itself is racist! Yet when a White Kills a Black person- people in timbuktu know about it. It's to the point that Local News stations won't even say the " Color" of a perp in last nights shooting. Did you say the world has learned? Amy Dear- what will we learn from Black on White Murders tomorrow? Will you even hear about it! Wake up! Trayvoooon was hunted down like a Rapid Dog? Tell me- what have we learned? Black Panthers-violence? What have we learned?

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I would say here that Zimmmerman actually had intention to murder because why would he chase Trayvon having reported the loitery of Trayvon Martins to 911? When you listen to the 911 call Zimmerman made, one would understand that Zimmerman was set to murder, even the voice from 911 call asked if Zimmerman was chasing him, Zimmerman said yes. So, in this case, who should stand as self defense, Zimmerman who was not a police nor a security guard or Martins who saw someone coimg after his life. The truth is he who seek equity should come with a clean hand and equity should not suffer wrong without remedy.

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Well. The world has grown up. And what I mean by its grown up is they learned from their mistakes. The thing is, is that people learn that after racist murders are commetted, they think hey we should do something about it. So hopefully this will be put to rest. I understand their will be a least one person who is going to put hatful things on here about what I said. Its ok. Just go ahead and make a fool of yourself.

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10 years from now- nobody will remember Trayvons last name. Nobody will remember Zimmerman or the police department- world moves to quickly! . what people will remember is spike ( Racist) lee who could have very well have gotten that couple murdered. people will remember Obama's- one liner- then he tucks his tail and runs. people will remember the elected officials making a spectacle of themselves- Wit dee Hoooooodie! THE BLACK PANTHERS - with a Wanted DEAD or Alive poster in which no President or Law offical stepped in for this intent to KILL! Zimmerman/Martin - only a looking glass to what all is wrong in this Country. True Colors did come out. Enjoy the Moment- tomorrow we can go back to the Crime infected Black World where Violence is Cavalier and we can all pretend it's not happening around us.