News: UPDATE: Trayvon Martin's Shooter Charged W/ Second Degree Murder

Wednesday, Apr 11, 2012 6:40PM

Written by Cyrus Langhorne

This evening (April 11), the man responsible for ending the life of 17 year-old Trayvon Martin has been charged with second-degree murder.

The charge came courtesy of a live news conference Wednesday evening.

George Zimmerman, a neighborhood watch volunteer, faces a second-degree murder charge for shooting Trayvon Martin, an unarmed black teenager in Sanford, Fla., the special prosecutor in the case announced Wednesday. In a televised news conference, State Atty. Angela B. Corey outlined the charges in the case that has sparked national demonstrations calling for Zimmerman's arrest. "I can tell you we did not come to this decision lightly," Corey told reporters. "We do not prosecute by public pressure." She said her office had filed information with the charge. Zimmerman, who has maintained he acted in self-defense, was in custody, Corey confirmed, though she gave no details. He had been in hiding since the shooting after his family said he had received death threats. (Los Angeles Times)

Reports suggesting an official charge would be announced this evening emerged online earlier in the day.

After weeks of mounting tension and protests across the U.S., a special prosecutor has decided to bring charges against neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman in the killing of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin, a law enforcement official said Wednesday. The official, speaking to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity, said prosecutor Angela Corey would announce the charges at a 6 p.m. news conference. The official said he did not know the charges. Corey confirmed only that she would make an announcement at that time. (Associated Press)

Further reporting claimed the shooting's location could heavily play into what Zimmerman gets charged with.

Critical to the decision of the prosecutor will be whether or not the shooting fell under Florida's "Stand Your Ground" law, which gives wide leeway to people who claim self-defense, and which does not require people to retreat before using deadly force. The news conference is scheduled to be held in Jacksonville at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, according to an e-mailed statement from the special prosecutor's office. (New York Times)

Prior to the charge, Zimmerman was nowhere to be found.

The announcement of a charge against Zimmerman would come a day after Zimmerman's attorneys withdrew from the case, citing their inability to contact Zimmerman. Lawyers Craig Sonner and Hal Uhrig on Tuesday expressed concern about Zimmerman's emotional and physical well-being, saying he has taken actions without consulting them. They also said they do not know where Zimmerman is. "You can stop looking in Florida," Uhrig told reporters. "Look much further away than that." (Washington Post)

Since the February shooting, hip-hop artists like Diddy and Nelly have come forward to show their support for the Martin family.

"I didn't know wearing a hoodie made me a target," tweeted Diddy who posted a picture of himself in a dark hoodie. Nelly also sported a hoodie and added a link to the Change.org petition to have George Zimmerman prosecuted for shooting Martin. On his Tumblr page, a hooded Frank Ocean pointed two fingers to his head resembling a gun and wrote, "suspicious black." The-Dream, Jamie Foxx and Swizz Beatz also posted photos of themselves in hoodies to show their support for Trayvon Martin, adding the hashtag HoodiesUp (#HoodiesUp) so others can do the same on Twitter. (Pop Crush)

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