Zimmerman trial: Jurors adjourn deliberations for night - FOX 35 News Orlando

Zimmerman trial: Jurors adjourn deliberations for night

  • Zimmerman trial: Jurors adjourn deliberations for nightMore>>

  • Vigil held as Sanford residents await verdict

    Vigil held as Sanford residents await verdict

    Friday, July 12 2013 11:01 PM EDT2013-07-13 03:01:19 GMT
    Sanford and Goldsboro residents held a candlelight vigil Friday night to honor the memory of Trayvon Martin.
    Sanford and Goldsboro residents held a candlelight vigil Friday night to honor the memory of Trayvon Martin.
  • George Zimmerman trial jurors: A closer look

    George Zimmerman trial jurors: A closer look

    Friday, July 12 2013 3:28 PM EDT2013-07-12 19:28:58 GMT
    The six women picked to serve on the jury in George Zimmerman's second-degree murder trial come from different backgrounds and they have varying knowledge about the case.
    The six women picked to serve on the jury in George Zimmerman's second-degree murder trial come from different backgrounds and they have varying knowledge about the case.
  • 911 CallsMore>>

  • 911 calls released in Sanford shooting

    911 calls released in Sanford shooting

    Wednesday, April 11 2012 9:52 AM EDT2012-04-11 13:52:36 GMT
    Sanford Police have released the 911 calls placed on the night of a fatal shooting which took the life of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin.
    Sanford Police have released the 911 calls placed on the night of a fatal shooting which took the life of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin.
  • Exclusive InterviewMore>>

  • Robert Zimmerman interview

    Robert Zimmerman interview

    For the first time since that fateful night on February 26, the father of a neighborhood watch volunteer who shot and killed an unarmed teenager sat down for a television interview.
    For the first time since that fateful night on February 26, the father of a neighborhood watch volunteer who shot and killed an unarmed teenager sat down for a television interview.
SANFORD, Fla. (WOFL FOX 35 ORLANDO) -

Jurors in the murder trial of George Zimmerman adjourned deliberations for the night Friday.  The six women who make up the jury were handed the case early Friday afternoon and broke for recess around 6 p.m.  They were scheduled to resume at 9 a.m. Saturday.

Deliberations began following closing arguments in which Zimmerman's attorney portrayed his client as a neighborhood activist who shot 17-year-old Trayvon Martin in self-defense. Prosecutors attempted to paint him as a wannabe cop whose misguided suspicion resulted in the teen's death.

Read the instructions jurors have been given (PDF)

At one point during afternoon deliberations, jurors sent out a request for an inventory list of evidence, which was provided.  They were expected to deliberate through the weekend, if necessary.

Meanwhile, small groups of people began gathering outside the Seminole County Criminal Justice Center, awaiting a decision. 

Jurors can acquit the 29-year-old neighborhood watch volunteer or convict him of either second-degree murder or manslaughter in the death of the Martin.

Listen to 911 calls, see more evidence pictures at ZimmermanTrialOnFox.com

Because there were no eyewitnesses, the jury will likely rely heavily on testimony -- which was often conflicting -- from police, neighbors, friends and family members.

In a rebuttal of the defense's closing arguments Friday, prosecutor John Guy accused Zimmerman of telling "so many lies." He said Martin's last feeling was fear as Zimmerman followed him in Zimmerman's gated Sanford community on a rainy night in February 2012.

"Isn't that every child's worst nightmare, to be followed on the way home in the dark by a stranger," Guy said. "Isn't that every child's worst fear?"

A young juror appeared to wipe away a tear as Guy said nothing can bring back Martin.

"The defendant didn't shoot Trayvon Martin because he had to, he shot him because he wanted to," Guy said. "That's the bottom line."

Lead defense attorney Mark O'Mara presented the defense's closing statements earlier Friday. For most of the three-hour presentation, O'Mara's style was in sharp contrast to the fiery summation delivered by lead prosecutor Bernie de la Rionda a day earlier, in which he forcefully told jurors that Zimmerman's inaccurate "assumptions" about Martin were responsible for the teen's death on Feb. 26, 2012.

O'Mara said the state's argument is based on a series of "could've beens" and "maybes."

"If it hasn't been proven, it's just not there," O'Mara said. "You can't fill in the gaps. You can't connect the dots. You're not allowed to."

He urged jurors not to "fill in the gaps" or "connect the dots" but to stick to facts.

"He's not guilty of anything but protecting his own life," O'Mara said of the neighborhood watch volunteer.

Jurors were focused, as the defense played animation of what they thought happened the night Zimmerman killed Trayvon Martin. O'Mara also used the animation to put doubt in jurors minds as to what state witnesses said.

O'Mara also asked jurors to ponder what Martin was doing during the four minutes from when he started running at the urging of a friend to which he was talking on a cell phone to when he encountered Zimmerman.  Martin was planning his attack instead of going back to the home where he was staying, said O'Mara, who let four minutes of silence elapse in court to dramatize the amount of time.

"The person who decided ... it was going to be a violent event, it was the guy who decided not to go home when he had a chance to," said O'Mara, who later used life-sized cutouts of bodies to show the difference in height between Zimmerman and Martin.

O'Mara became more emotional toward the end, reminding jurors that even a reasonable doubt in their minds that Zimmerman committed a crime can only mean acquittal.

"It is a tragedy, truly," O'Mara said. "But you can't allow sympathy."

Sign up for breaking George Zimmerman trial text alerts at ZimmermanTrialOnFox.com

A third-degree murder charge based on child abuse was disallowed by Chief Judge Debra Nelson on Thursday. However, she allowed jurors to consider a manslaughter charge.

On Thursday, the prosecution spent almost two hours painting Zimmerman as an angry vigilante who "profiled" Martin.

Prosecutor Bernie de la Rionda said Zimmerman was an angry vigilante who "tracked" Martin through Zimmerman's townhome complex and provoked the confrontation that claimed the unarmed teen's life.

"A teenager is dead," he said. "He's dead not just because the man made those assumptions, but because he acted on those assumptions and unfortunately, because his assumptions were wrong, Trayvon Benjamin Martin no longer walks on this Earth.

"He brought a gun to a fight that he started. Now he wants you to let him off because he killed the only eyewitness, the victim Trayvon Martin."

De la Rionda told the jury that Zimmerman wanted to be a police officer, and that's why he followed Martin through his neighborhood, even though the teen wasn't doing anything wrong.

"He assumed Trayvon Martin was a criminal. That is why we are here," de la Rionda said.

Zimmerman showed ill will and hatred when he whispered profanities to a police dispatcher over his cell phone while following Martin, said de la Rionda as he urged jurors to hold Zimmerman accountable for his actions. In order to get a second-degree murder conviction, prosecutors must show Zimmerman showed ill will, hatred or spite.

Complete coverage of the George Zimmerman trial at ZimmermanTrialOnFox.com

"The law doesn't allow people to take the law into their own hands," de la Rionda said.

Zimmerman never testified, but jurors saw repeated video recordings of Zimmerman telling his side of the story to investigators. He claims that he shot Martin, who was unarmed, in self-defense while the teen straddled and punched him.

"What George did was an intentional act, that he knew he was pulling the trigger. The reason why he did it was self-defense, and that doesn't suggest the manslaughter charge would be appropriate," O'Mara said.

O'Mara told reporters that Zimmerman wanted to testify, but his attorneys felt he had already told his version of events.

"I think he really wanted to be able to interact with this jury and say to them 'This is what I did and this is why I did it. And as importantly, this is what was happening to me at the time that I decided to do what I had to do,' " O'Mara said. "So in that sense, yes, I think he wanted to tell his story."

Still, O'Mara said his client is "worried" because he faces up to a life sentence in prison if convicted for what O'Mara called a classic case of self-defense.

Asserting that Zimmerman "believed he did what he had to do to protect himself from great bodily injury that was already being visited on him," O'Mara added, "If we presented evidence that helped the jury understand that, then we've done our job."

Zimmerman could face up to life in prison if convicted of second-degree murder with a firearm. A manslaughter conviction in the case could result in a maximum sentence of 30 years.

Information from FoxNews.com and The Associated Press was used in this report.

  • Photos of Casey Anthony

  • Click here to see photos of Casey Anthony through the months.
  • Trayvon Martin Coverage

  • Click here for stories, photos and 911 calls from the Trayvon Martin case.

Follow us on Pinterest

 

 
 

FOX 35 Weather Authority

ADVERTISEMENT
Powered by WorldNow

35 Skyline Drive
Lake Mary, FL 32746

Phone: (407) 644-3535
News Tips: (866) 55-FOX35

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | New Terms of Service What's new | Ad Choices