Jurors Start Deliberating George Zimmerman Case

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press
FILE - In this July 8, 2013 file photo, George Zimmerman sits in the courtroom during his trial in Seminole Circuit Court, in Sanford, Fla. Police and city leaders in Sanford and South Florida are preparing for the possibility of mass demonstrations and civil unrest if Zimmerman is acquitted in the killing of unarmed teenager Trayvon Martin, particularly in African-American neighborhoods where passions about the case run strongest. (AP Photo /Orlando Sentinel, Joe Burbank, Pool, File)

FILE - In this July 8, 2013 file photo, George Zimmerman sits in the courtroom during his trial in Seminole Circuit Court, in Sanford, Fla. Police and city leaders in Sanford and South Florida are preparing for the possibility of mass demonstrations and civil unrest if Zimmerman is acquitted in the killing of unarmed teenager Trayvon Martin, particularly in African-American neighborhoods where passions about the case run strongest. (AP Photo /Orlando Sentinel, Joe Burbank, Pool, File)

SANFORD, Fla. (AP) -- A jury is starting deliberations in the murder trial of neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman, who fatally shot 17-year-old Trayvon Martin last year.

Zimmerman is charged with second-degree murder, but the jury will also be allowed to consider manslaughter. Under Florida's laws involving gun crimes, a conviction on either could mean life in prison.

The jurors have been sequestered during the past three weeks. Because there were no eyewitnesses to the shooting, jurors will likely rely heavily on testimony from police, neighbors, friends and family members. The testimony was often conflicting.

Jurors will have to determine whether Zimmerman took the law into his own hands or was in a fight for his life and shot Martin in self-defense.


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