News: Trayvon Martin Shooter Could Get Charged W/ Hate Crime, Face Death Penalty

Tuesday, May 15, 2012 3:05PM

Written by Cyrus Langhorne

The man responsible for slaying 17 year-old Trayvon Martin could face the death penalty if found guilty with reports claiming federal hate crime charges may be added to his second-degree murder case.

According to reports, shooter George Zimmerman could have more charges added to his case.

Zimmerman profiled and stalked Martin before allegedly shooting and killing him on Feb. 26, so now the FBI is looking into charging Zimmerman with a hate crime, the television station reports Florida state prosecutors have said. Zimmerman has said he acted in self defense. If Zimmerman is convicted of his second-degree murder charge, he could face life in prison, but a hate crime charge could mean he would face the death penalty, WFTV reports. FBI representatives are interviewing residents of Zimmerman's neighorhood in Sanford, Fla., looking for evidence of a hate crime, according to WFTV. (USA Today)

Weekend reporting claimed Zimmerman has raised thousands of dollars in support since getting arrested this spring.

Zimmerman, the man who shot their son, raised $204,000 in just three weeks with a PayPal account posted to a website. He spent about $50,000 before his defense lawyer ever learned of the fund's swelling balance, his attorney, Mark O'Mara, acknowledged. O'Mara recently created a new fundraising site administered by a former IRS agent and registered with the Florida Division of Consumer Services. He told ABC News that he raised nearly $8,000 in the first few days the site was active. "I'm not going to be unrealistic to the fact that everyone is seeking donations in relation to this case, including the Trayvon Martin family," O'Mara said at a recent press conference. "It seems as though we have become in this criminal justice system a system where we can ask other people to help us. That's what we are doing." The fund now also includes the $150,000 balance transferred from the original PayPal account Zimmerman had set up. (Kansas City Star)

Last month, he was allowed to post bail after getting charged with Martin's murder.

George Zimmerman was released around midnight Sunday from a Florida county jail on $150,000 bail as he awaits his second-degree murder trial for fatally shooting Trayvon Martin. The neighborhood watch volunteer was wearing a brown jacket and blue jeans and carrying a paper bag. He walked out following another man and didn't look over at photographers gathered outside. He then followed the man into a white BMW vehicle and drove away. Moments before, two Seminole County sheriff's vehicles blocked access to the intake building parking lot where Zimmerman was being released. Zimmerman emerged after two public information officers confirmed the credentials of the photographers outside. (Fox News)

Following his release, hip-hop artists like Papoose voiced their displeasure and shocked reactions.

"That's some savage sh*t," Papoose told XXL in reaction of Zimmerman posting 10% of his $150,000 bail to become a free man until his trial next year. "The man could be free and Trayon is in his grave till eternity. Everybody celebrated when they arrested dude, but I think it was premature. This dude is an animal. The whole thing is bullsh*t." As angry as the Martin incident makes him, Papoose is proud that he and his peers in hip-hop at least spoke up about the situation. "All of us being successful...anybody who has a voice, it's our duty for us to provide a voice for those who don't have a platform," Papoose said. "I felt like it's my duty. I felt like I'd be playing myself if I didn't say something. I commend everybody." (XXL Mag)

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