Neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman is being charged with second-degree murder in the shooting of Trayvon Martin, the unarmed black teenager whose death ignited nationwide protests. Special prosecutor Angela Corey says that 28-year-old Zimmerman is in custody.
Corey wouldn’t disclose Zimmerman’s whereabouts for his safety, but said that he will be in court within 24 hours.
Corey says that authorities did not come to the decision lightly, nor was it based on public pressure.
The charge carries a maximum sentence of life in prison. Second-degree murder is typically charged when there is a fight or other confrontation that results in death and where there is no premeditated plan to kill someone.
Zimmerman has asserted since the Feb. 26 killing in Sanford that he shot the 17-year-old Martin in self-defense after the two fought.
Zimmerman’s new attorney Mark O’Mara told reporters he will ask the judge for a bond for his client on Thursday.
Trayvon Martin’s parents Tracey Martin and Sybrina Fulton said they were thankful that Zimmerman had been arrested.
“We simply wanted an arrest,” Sybrina Fulton said. “We got it and we say thank you, Lord. Thank you, Jesus.”
Tracy Martin said, however, “This is just the beginning. We have a long way to go.. and we will march and march and march until the right thing is done.”
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