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Trayvon Martin case: George Zimmerman trial could be months off

For now, George Zimmerman's second-degree murder case hinges on two things: whether the judge will allow him to be free on bail, and whether the case is dismissed as justifiable homicide under Florida's Stand Your Ground law.


George Zimmerman is directed by a Seminole County Deputy and his attorney Mark O'Mara during a court hearing Thursday in Sanford, Fla. Zimmerman has been charged with second-degree murder in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin.

Gary W. Green/Orlando Sentinel/AP

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For the killing of Trayvon Martin, George Zimmerman will spend a week in jail – or perhaps the rest of his life.

Defense attorneys hope to get Mr. Zimmerman out of the Seminole County Jail in Florida a week from Friday on April 20 when a bond hearing is scheduled. If convicted of second-degree murder, the charge brought by prosecutors this week, the neighborhood watch captain who shot the unarmed teenager in a gated community in Sanford, Fla., faces up to life in prison.

In any case, says Mark O’Mara, Zimmerman’s attorney, it’s very, very early in the process of detailing charges, gathering evidence, and building a defense. As a result, he says, any trial won’t begin for months.

“I cannot imagine it going to trial within the year,” Mr. O’Mara told NPR.

At this point, the only official document in the case is a brief, three-page affidavit filed by special prosecutor Angela Corey.

It states that Zimmerman “profiled” Trayvon, who was “unarmed and was not committing a crime.” Zimmerman “assumed Martin was a criminal [who] did not belong in the gated community.”

There is nothing in the affidavit to indicate that Zimmerman was motivated by race in following Trayvon. (Zimmerman is white and Trayvon was black.) But in his cellphone call to 911, Zimmerman “made reference to people he felt had committed and gotten away with break-ins in his neighborhood.”


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