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The Trial of George Zimmerman

Self-Defense or Second-Degree Murder?


Police Photo of George Zimmerman's Bloody Face

George Zimmerman's Bloody Face


On Feb. 26, 2012, in the Sanford, Florida gated community of The Retreat at Twin Lakes, George Zimmerman was working as a Neighborhood Watch volunteer when he spotted a young black man, Trayvon Martin, walking through the neighborhood wearing a hoodie.

Zimmerman called 9-1-1 to report the suspicious person and was told not to follow the suspect. Later, Zimmerman said Martin sucker-punched him, knocked him to the ground and began banging his head against the pavement. Zimmerman drew his gun and shot Martin once in the chest, killing him.

Here are the current developments in the case:

Judge Dismisses Zimmerman's NBC Lawsuit

June 30, 2014 - A Florida judge has dismissed the lawsuit filed by George Zimmerman that accused NBC with defamation when three of its editors altered the recording of a 9-1-1 call to make it sound like he was a racist.

Judge Debra Nelson ruled that Zimmerman's lawyers failed to show that NBC acted with malice when it made the edits.

Nelson said the malice standard was necessary because Zimmerman had become a public figure when he shot 17-year-old Trayvon Martin and set-off a national debate on race and self-defense laws. She also ruled that during the same time period, NBC also reported that family members said he was no racist.

Zimmerman's attorney, James Beasley, claimed that the NBC actions exposed Zimmerman to public ridicle and threats. He was seeking damages for emotional distress and mental anquish.

News Source: CBS News: George Zimmerman's Lawsuit Against NBC Dismissed by Judge

Previous Developments

Zimmerman Girlfriend Wants Charges Dropped
Dec. 9, 2013
George Zimmerman girlfriend has apparently decided she doesn't want to press charges in connection with a domestic incident at her Florida apartment. In an affidavit filed in the court by Zimmerman's attorneys, Samantha Scheibe said he doesn't want Zimmerman charged with aggravated assault, battery and criminal mischief.

Zimmerman Arrested for Domestic Violence
Nov. 18, 2013
It seems the legal saga of George Zimmerman is far from over. The 30-year-old former Neighborhood Watch volunteer acquitted of the murder of Trayvon Martin has been arrested on charges of threatening his live-in girlfriend with a shotgun.

Zimmerman to Seek Legal Fees
Aug. 26, 2013
An attorney for George Zimmerman, who was acquitted of all charges in connection with the shooting death of Trayvon Martin, will be seeking part of the defense's legal fees of his five-week murder trial. Mark O'Mara said he will ask the state to pay up to $300,000 of Zimmerman's legal expenses.

Zimmerman Jury Initially Split
July 15, 2013
When the six-woman jury in the George Zimmerman murder trial took its first vote during deliberations, they were split down the middle - with three voting for acquittal, two for manslaughter and one for second-degree murder. But as they looked more closely at the law during 18 hours of deliberations, their only choice was a not guilty verdict, one juror said.

George Zimmerman Not Guilty
July 13, 2013
In a case that many think should have never been prosecuted, a jury of six women unanimously found George Zimmerman not guilty of the murder of teenager Trayvon Martin. After deliberating for almost 16 hours and more than 12 hours straight Saturday, the jurors returned their verdict shortly after 10 p.m.

Zimmerman Defense Begins Case
July 5, 2013
The prosecution in the George Zimmerman second-degree murder trial for the shooting of teenager Trayvon Martin came to an end after nine days of testimony from witnesses, who many times appeared to be testifying for the defense. Several witnesses appeared to have actually benefited the defense more than the state.

Opening Statements Kickoff Zimmerman Trial
June 24, 2013
Prosecutors told six female jurors that a Sanford, Florida Neighborhood Watch captain shot an unarmed teenager because he profiled him as a troublemaker and wanted to shoot him, as opening statements kicked off the second-degree murder trial of George Zimmerman for shooting death of Trayvon Martin.

Prosecutors: Trayvon's Behavior Not Relevant
May 14, 2013
With the murder trial still a month away, attorneys are already fighting it out in court in the case of Trayvon Martin, who was shot to death by a neighborhood watch volunteer. Prosecutors want to block George Zimmerman's defense team from presenting evidence about Martin's marijuana use and background.

Zimmerman Cancels 'Stand Your Ground' Hearing
March 5, 2013
In a move that surprised prosecutors, attorneys for the man accused of shooting Trayvon Martin cancelled a scheduled pre-trial hearing on issues surrounding Florida's "Stand Your Ground" law. George Zimmerman's lawyers said they do not have time to prepare for the pre-trial hearing and the up-coming June 10 jury trial too.

Photo Shows Zimmerman's Bloody Face
Dec. 4, 2012
A photograph taken on the night Trayvon Martin was shot to death shows shooter George Zimmerman with a bloody face and an apparent broken nose. The photo was taken by police officers at the scene of the Sanford, Florida shooting while Zimmerman was sitting in the back of a police cruiser.

Judge Grants Motion for Trayvon's Records
Oct. 19, 2012
The new judge in the Trayvon Martin case has granted a defense request to examine in detail the teenager's social media accounts, his cell phone records and his school records. Attorneys for George Zimmerman asked for the files to possibly show Martin's propensity for violent behavior.

Zimmerman's Defense Team Asks for Donations
July 5, 2012
The neighborhood watch volunteer who has been charged with the murder of Trayvon Martin has been given the opportunity to bond out of jail again by securing a $1 million bond. Judge Kenneth R. Lester Jr. set the bond after revoking George Zimmerman's previous $150,000 bond last month.

Judge Steps Down From Trayvon Case
April 18, 2012
Two judges have recused themselves from presiding over the murder trial of a Neighborhood Watch volunteer who is accused of shooting an unarmed teenager. Judge Jessica Recksiedler, who was assigned the case, stepped down citing a possible conflict of interest in the trial of George Zimmerman for the death of Trayvon Martin.

George Zimmerman Charged With Murder
April 12, 2012
A Sanford, Florida Neighborhood Watch volunteer has been charged with second-degree murder for the shooting of a young black man wearing a hoodie that he reported as suspicious to police. Prosecutors claim teenager Trayvon Martin was killed because he was racially profiled by George Zimmerman.


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