Zimmerman arrested, charged with 2nd degree murder of Trayvon Martin

Special prosecutor Angela Corey (who obviously has a bone to pick and has been described as “aggressive”) announced in a press conference Wednesday evening that George Zimmerman was being charged with second-degree murder in the shooting death of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin on February 26 in Sanford, Florida.

George Zimmerman’s (new) lawyer, Mark O’Mara — a Local 6 legal expert — told press that the 28-year-old suspect turned himself in.

“I’m expecting a lot of work and hopefully justice in the end,” said O’Mara, describing a phone call with his client. He added, “He’s frightened.”

“He is troubled by everything that has happened, and I can’t imagine living in George Zimmerman’s shoes for the past number of weeks, only because he has been the focus of anger, confusion and hatred, and that has to be difficult,” O’Mara said.

Zimmerman was then transported to the Seminole County Criminal Justice Center Wednesday evening wearing a red plaid shirt and a black cloth draped over his head. He will be in court Thursday for a bond hearing which is expected to be sizable.

Slate was nice enough to explain the evidence that will ultimately make it’s way into the proceedings where Florida’s “Stand Your Ground Law” will be under heavy legal scrutiny. The 911 call, several witnesses, Trayvon Martin’s own troubled record, video from the Sanford police, but expect a plethora of circumstantial and concrete evidence of the neighborhood’s police records of break-ins and incident calls to also be thrown into the defense exhibits.

Now that a new Florida show trial of national attention is all but a certainty, expect a jury to be sequestered right away (the prosecution can add or drop charges until they are sworn in). Jury selection should be a hell of a process though, as vocal opinions and views on this case are already rampant.

Update: Jacob Sullum should just get to the point on the matter of the second-degree murder charge over what really should have been a manslaughter when he says, “Manslaughter, which carries a maximum sentence of 15 years, does seem like a more appropriate charge than second-degree murder, which carries a potential life sentence and requires “a depraved mind regardless of human life.” If Zimmerman broke the law, it was probably because he overreacted in the heat of the moment, so the murder charge seems like a stretch.”

A judge would be wise to put a gag order on the case, just to keep the prosecution and defense’s media antics outside the courtroom from disgracing the proceedings more than they already have. But hey, it’s Florida. Casey Anthony Florida. Enjoy the travesty.

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