George Zimmerman Charged With 2nd Degree Murder in Trayvon Martin Killing
Six weeks after the incident that sparked a current of racial, legal and media storylines in a residential development in Sanford, Florida, George Zimmerman will soon face charges for killing Trayvon Martin, a law enforcement official told the Associated Press. The prosecutor is expected to make the announcement at 6 p.m. EST.
The charges were first reported by the Washington Post.
During a confrontation on February 26, Zimmerman shot Martin to death, with police taking him into custody but soon releasing him without charges. The blurry details of the case have been pieced together in the media over the past month, with dissections of 911 tapes, eye-witness testimonies, hoodie debates, and examination of grainy video footage dominating airwaves and column space. The coverage of the case has also drawn scrutiny.
Zimmerman claimed self-defense, saying that Martin attacked him, and is backed by Florida's controversial "Stand Your Ground" law, which provides more leeway for personal protection.
A press conference from the prosecutor in the case is expected to take place within the next 72 hours; Zimmerman's now-former attorneys held a press conference on Tuesday announcing that they would no longer be his counsel, and said they did not know where he was -- but that it probably was not Florida.
The lawyers, Craig Sonner and Hal Uhrig, also said that Zimmerman had a private conversation with Fox News host Sean Hannity, who addressed the issue on his show Tuesday night.
UPDATE: Zimmerman has been officially charged with 2nd degree murder, and though his current whereabouts are unknown, Zimmerman is expected to be present in court on Thursday. The 28-year-old could face life in prison and is expected to enter a not guilty plea.