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Deliberations Begin in Zimmerman Trial


July 12, 2013 | WMFE - Jurors now must decide whether George Zimmerman shot and killed Trayvon Martin in self-defense. They began deliberating Friday afternoon after Mark O'Mara closed the defense's case, by asking jurors to set aside assumptions as failures in the state's case.

[Photo courtesy of Joe Burbank, Orlando Sentinel/Pool]

O'Mara pointed to the state's argument that Zimmerman's profanities in his call to police about Martin prove his ill will toward the teen.

"Get out here and get these guys. I hate these young black males. Or whatever absurdity they want you get from that. Listen to the calls. Do not allow them to give their words to your ears rather than George's."

The prosecution followed with a rebuttal. Assistant State Attorney John Guy said in the end this case is not about standing your ground.

"It's about staying in your car like he was taught to do. Like he was supposed to do."

O'Mara never mentioned Stand Your Ground, but jurors must consider the controversial state law in their deliberations.

Courthouse security tightened on this near-final day. But few protesters turned out.

Authorities are urging peace as Sanford awaits a verdict. Sanford Police Chief Cecil Smith and Seminole County Sheriff Donald Eslinger addressed reporters minutes after jurors began deliberating.

Eslinger said authorities aren't seeing any problems.

"We encourage businesses to not disrupt operations. We encourage all residents to live their lives normally."

Tens of thousands protested in Sanford last year when police delayed arresting Zimmerman for more than a month after Trayvon Martin's death.

Friday the police chief told reporters city leaders have responded to concerns by bringing Zimmerman to trial and also engaging with residents.

Smith acknowledged it's an uncertain time as jurors deliberate but reassured residents they will be kept safe.

 

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