George Zimmerman found Not Guilty of Second Degree Murder
July 13th, 2013 | WMFE- A jury of 6 people has found George Zimmerman not guilty of second degree murder for shooting unarmed teenager Trayvon Martin in Sanford last February.
Defense attorney Mark O'Mara said the case was "a little bit David and Goliath, but we won."
Jurors deliberated for over 16 hours before reaching the not guilty verdict.
Zimmerman was also found not guilty of the lesser charge of manslaughter.
After the verdict, Zimmerman's parents and other members of Zimmerman's family embraced.
The state had argued Zimmerman profiled, followed and murdered 17-year old Trayvon Martin as he walked through the gated community of Waterford Lakes in Sanford in February 2012.
Zimmerman said he was attacked by the teenager, and he fired in self defense.
State attorney Angela Corey thanked the jury for their 16 hours of deliberation for what she called a "case of details that needed to be analysed very very carefully."
"Of course our hearts go out to our victim's family," said Corey.
"What we promised to do was to get this case in front of a jury and give George Zimmerman and Trayvon Martin a day in court," said Corey.
Prosecutor Bernie de La Rionda said while he respected the jury's verdict, he was disappointed.
Defense lawyer Mark O'Mara thanked the jury.
O'Mara said Zimmerman was still worried. He said he hoped everyone would respect the jury's decision.
his co-counsel, Don West said he thought the prosecution of Zimmerman was "disgraceful".
Just before six on Saturday evening, jurors asked for clarification on manslaughter instructions.
A crowd of demonstrators gathered in front of the Seminole County Criminal Justice Center throughout the day.
Many of them carried home-made signs in support of Trayvon Martin.
Big Mama Joseph traveled from Volusia County with her family to wait for the verdict.
"Everybody's here to support George or Trayvon," she said.
"There's a lot of mothers here, there's a lot of grandparents here, there's a lot of future generations here. Everybody just wants a sense of.... can't we all just live in peace?"
Sanford resident Raymond Coleman was watching the demonstrators with his three teenager children.
Coleman said he was following the case out of a sense of sympathy for Martin's parents.
"Me having children, I would hate for one of my sons want to go to the store and worry about them coming home," he said.
"That's the message I don't want to get lost is that, you know, there's a 17 year old child that's dead."
William Emola carried a handwritten sign with the words "Free George".
Emola had traveled up to Sanford from Orlandowith two friends for the verdict, to show support for Zimmerman. He said he had questions about Florida's so-called 'Stand Your Ground' law.
"If this doesn't work, they better do something, because this is going to keep happening," he said.