As expected, George Zimmerman has been charged in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin. 45 days after the Florida teen was gunned down, special prosecutor, Angela Corey, announced during a news conference Wednesday (April 11) that Zimmerman will face a second-degree murder charge for the incident. Corey also revealed that Zimmerman is currently in custody, but would not disclose his location for safety reasons.
Corey had been expected to bring charges against Zimmerman ever since it was announced that she would not be needing the help of a grand jury in the case. Zimmerman has been in hiding since the shooting, and up until yesterday, was not staying in the state of Florida.
"Less than three weeks ago we told those sweet parents that we would get answers," Corey said during the news conference, of speaking with Martin's mother and father. "I can tell you we did not come to this decision lightly," she explained, stating that the decision was not swayed by public opinion surrounding the controversial case. "We prosecute based on the facts of any given case as well as the laws of the state of Florida.
"Today we filed an information charging George Zimmerman with murder in the second degree. A capias has been issued for his arrest. With the filing of that information, and the issuance of the capias, he will have a right to appear in front of a magistrate in Seminole County within 24-hours of his arrest, and thus formal prosecution will begin." Before taking questions from the press, Corey ended her announcement by reminding the public to send positive thoughts towards Martin's parents. "We ask you to continue to pray for Trayvon's family, as well as for our prosecution team."
A native of Jacksonville, Fla., 57-year-old Corey has been state attorney for nearly four years and is up for re-election. She was appointed to investigate the case on March 23, after the Sanford Police Department decided not to press charges against Zimmerman. The 28-year-old part-time neighborhood watch volunteer is claiming self-defense in Martin's killing, but is said to have turned himself in to police sometime Wednesday.
This latest development comes one day after Zimmerman's attorney's jumped ship. His new counsel is Marc O'mara, a Florida criminal and family law attorney who has been practicing in the state for 28 years.
Martin was shot after returning from the store where he purchased an Arizona Ice Tea, and a bag of Skittles. If convicted, Zimmerman may face life in prison.
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Photo: Orlando Sentinal