Defense Takes its Turn After Prosecutor Calls Zimmerman Liar, Wanna-be Cop in Closing
July 11, 2013 | WMFE - Defense attorneys in George Zimmerman's second-degree murder trial get their turn Friday to present their closing argument. Prosecutor Bernie de la Rionda's closed the state's case Thursday. He said Zimmerman was a liar and wanna-be cop who profiled Trayvon Martin as a criminal and then murdered him.
[Photo courtesy of Joe Burbank, Orlando Sentinel/Pool]
De la Rionda spoke for about three hours. He directed jurors' attention away from disputed details like who was straddling who. He urged them instead to focus on what he said led to the confrontation – Zimmerman's wrong assumption that Martin was "up to no good," borrowing the defendant's own words in his call to police about the teen.
"Why does this defendant get out of the car if he thinks that Trayvon Martin is a threat to him? Why? Because he's got a gun. He's got the equalizer. He's gonna take care of it. He's a wanna-be cop."
De la Rionda said profanities Zimmerman used in his call to police about Martin prove his ill will, which is required for second-degree murder.
In addition to second-degree murder the judge ruled jurors may consider the lesser charge of manslaughter. The defense had wanted jurors to consider no lesser charges.
Jurors could begin deliberating as early as Friday afternoon. Zimmerman faces a maximum life sentence. He says he shot and killed Martin in self-defense.