George Zimmerman found not guilty in Trayvon Martin case

    8:09 PM, Jul 13, 2013   |    comments
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    SANFORD, Fl. (AP/USA TODAY) - George Zimmerman found not guilty of second-degree murder or manslaughter in the death of Trayvon Martin.

    Zimmerman, 29, was charged with second-degree murder in the death of 17-year-old Martin.

    The case received national attention after the shooting happened on Feb. 26, 2012. Police initially did not charge Zimmerman with a crime, citing Florida's "Stand Your Ground" law, which allows someone who believes he is in imminent danger to take whatever steps are necessary to protect himself.

    Protests ensued in several cities, including New York, by supporters of Martin's family. Many protesters voiced the opinion that Martin was targeted and killed for racial reasons, as Martin was black and Zimmerman is not.

    Florida's state prosecutor charged Zimmerman with murder on April 11, 2012.

    The trial, held in the same Florida city where Martin was killed,  brought the facts of the case under a nationally-televised spotlight, with every moment captured on camera.

    There were no eye-witnesses to the killing, which left the jury of six women to determine Zimmerman's guilt or innocence based on evidence, 911 calls, and testimony from family, friends, neighbors, and experts. Zimmerman did not testify in his own defense.

    In a dramatic, at times loud closing statement, State prosecutor Bernie de la Rionda outlined for jurors why they should find Zimmerman guilty. The prosecutor focused on several main theories of his case: Martin would be alive if Zimmerman hadn't profiled him, the unarmed teen was pursued by a man carrying a gun, and Zimmerman gave inconsistent statements to police and a reporter.

    Zimmerman's defense team maintained that Martin was the aggressor and that Zimmerman shot him in self-defense during a struggle in which the teenager repeatedly bashed Zimmerman's head into a concrete sidewalk.

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