George Zimmerman, the Florida neighborhood watch volunteer who said he shot 17-year-old Trayvon Martin in self-defense, has been arrested and charged with second-degree murder. Florida prosecutors announced the murder charge during a Wednesday afternoon news conference.
“We did not come to this decision lightly,” State’s Attorney Angela Corey said. “Let me emphasize that we do not prosecute by public pressure or by petition,” she added.
Zimmerman, 28, turned himself in to authorities and is being held without bail. Corey, offering very few details about what led to the arrest, also refused to say where he is in custody. If convicted, Zimmerman faces a maximum sentence of life in prison.
Martin was unarmed when he was fatally shot in Sanford, Fla., the night of Feb. 26. His death has sparked outrage and ignited a national debate over the issue of racial profiling. —TEB
Trayvon Martin’s mother Sybrina Fulton listens during the news conference at which charges against her son’s killer were announced.