Zimmerman Charged with Second Degree Murder in Trayvon Martin Case
SANFORD, Fla. — Second degree murder charges have been filed against George Zimmerman in the death of Trayvon Martin. Special Prosecutor Angela Corey made the announcement on Wednesday afternoon during a press conference.
Corey also stated that Zimmerman is in custody after turning himself in. The news comes just one day after Zimmerman’s attorneys announced they had lost contact with him and were withdrawing from the case.
Police said Zimmerman fatally shot 17-year-old Trayvon Martin on February 26, in Sanford, Florida. At the time, Martin was walking home from a convenience store. Zimmerman, a neighborhood watch volunteer, called police and reported a suspicious person in the area. He claims Martin attacked him and he acted in self-defense, shooting and killing the unarmed teen.
Martin’s parents spoke at a news conference on Wednesday. His father, Tracy Martin, said it’s been tough to maintain his sanity, but he’s determined to honor his son and to make sure his death was not in vain. Martin’s mother, Sybrina Fulton, said she is confident justice will be served.
Many speculate the shooting death of Trayvon Martin was racially motivated — Martin being an African-American and Zimmerman a Hispanic. Police released Zimmerman without charges because at the time there was no evidence to disprove he acted in self-defense.
Thousands across the country protested, criticizing the police department. The incident also triggered a heated, nationwide debate about race and Florida’s “stand your ground” law, which allows the use of deadly force anywhere someone feels a reasonable threat of death or injury.