Trayvon Martin: The Latest, Week 6
Friday, April 13, 9:45 a.m. EDT: What happens now? A Los Angeles Times editorial this morning emphasizes that now that Zimmerman has been charged, public sentiment will be subordinated to the rules of evidence, and prosecutors will bear the burden of convincing a jury that the defendant is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt: "Guided by that standard, jurors will weigh the prosecution's version of events (which is still to be fleshed out) against Zimmerman's insistence that he shot Martin in self-defense. Having rightly demanded that authorities take a second look at the circumstances of this tragic encounter, Martin's champions will have to be patient as the judicial process unfolds. An arrest has been made, charges have been filed and, unless Zimmerman pleads guilty or a judge dismisses the charges before trial, both sides will have their day in court," it explains.
Tuesday, April 10, 5:37 p.m. EDT: Affidavit says "Zimmerman confronted Martin": The probable-cause affidavit filed in George Zimmerman's second-degree-murder case failed to disclose much new evidence, but it does offer a few new pieces of information. It says that "Zimmerman confronted Martin," an apparent contradiction of Zimmerman's version of the events, the Orlando Sentinel reports.
Tuesday, April 10, 1:42 p.m. EDT: George Zimmerman makes first court appearance: George Zimmerman made his first appearance in a Florida court today. Zimmerman is charged with murder in the second degree for shooting unarmed teen Trayvon Martin. Under Florida law, second-degree murder refers to a killing that is not premeditated but is carried out with "a depraved mind."
Thursday, April 12, 9:54 a.m. EDT: Trayvon's mother believes killing was "an accident": Trayvon Martin's mother, Sybrina Fulton, told the Today show this morning that she believes her son's fatal shooting by George Zimmerman was an accident. "I believe it was an accident, I believe that it just got out of control and he couldn't turn the clock back," she said. "I would ask him, 'Did he know that that was a minor, that that was a teenager and that he did not have a weapon?' " she added. UPDATE: Thursday, April 12, 1:56 p.m. EDT: Fulton retracted her comments that she believes her son's fatal shooting by Zimmerman was an accident, telling MSNBC-TV on Thursday afternoon that she actually believes "George Zimmerman stalked my son and murdered him in cold blood."
Wednesday, April 11, 6:12 p.m. EDT: Zimmerman turns himself in and is charged with second-degree murder: Special prosecutor Angela Corey announced at a press conference today that her office has filed an information charging George Zimmerman with murder in the second degree and that a habeas has been issued for his arrest. She confirmed that Zimmerman turned himself in and is now in custody but, for his safety, would not specify where. She asked for prayers for Trayvon's family and the prosecution team and said, "Remember, it is Trayvon's family who are our constitutional victims."
Wednesday, April 11, 6:03 p.m. EDT: George Zimmerman has been taken into custody: Officials told NBC News today that he will face criminal charges in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin. The Associated Press is reporting on a statement from an official that Zimmerman will be charged with second-degree murder. Special prosecutor Angela Corey is making an announcement about the case.
Wednesday, April 11, 2:15 p.m. EDT: Law-enforcement official says Zimmerman will be charged: The Washington Post is reporting that Florida special prosecutor Angela Corey plans to announce as early as Wednesday afternoon that she is charging neighborhood-watch volunteer George Zimmerman in the shooting of Trayvon Martin, according to a law-enforcement official close to the investigation. It's not immediately clear what charge Zimmerman will face.
Wednesday, April 11, 10:03 a.m. EDT: News from special prosecutor expected by Friday: Yesterday, after George Zimmerman's lawyers stepped down from their representation of him, saying they haven't been in touch with him for two days, the special prosecutor promised "new information regarding the Trayvon Martin shooting death investigation" within 72 hours, prompting speculation that Zimmerman could be charged soon.
Tuesday, April 10, 9:40 p.m. EDT: Sean Hannity confirms that he spoke to Zimmerman: On Sean Hannity's Fox News show tonight, he confirmed that he'd spoken to George Zimmerman on the phone. Earlier today, Zimmerman's former attorneys said in a press conference that although they were unable to reach their client, he'd reached out to the cable-news host. Hannity addressed those comments, saying that he did speak to "an individual who we believe was George Zimmerman" but agreed not to report on the conversation. He added that he knew nothing about Zimmerman’s relationship with his former lawyers.
Tuesday, April 10, 7:15 p.m. EDT: Roland Martin tweets conversation with Joe Oliver: CNN analyst Roland Martin is tweeting tonight about an interview with George Zimmerman's African-American friend Joe Oliver, who recently spoke out in Zimmerman's defense. Martin told his followers that Oliver is "dumbfounded by George's actions," told him he was making bad decisions and believes that authorities know where Zimmerman is (despite the fact that his attorneys said earlier today that they were unable to reach him). In addition, Martin tweeted, "Just talked to Ben Crump a few moments ago and he said the family of #Trayvon Martin is concerned that George Zimmerman is a flight risk." Read Martin's latest Tweets here.
Tuesday, April 10, 5 p.m. EDT: Zimmerman's attorneys have lost contact with him; will withdraw: The two attorneys who have been representing George Zimmerman announced at a press conference that they are withdrawing as his legal counsel, the Orlando Sentinel reports. "On Sunday we lost track of George, in that he would not return our calls," attorney Hal Uhrig said. Said attorney Craig Sonner, "I've lost contact with him at this point." Sonner and Uhrig said that Zimmerman has not been answering their phone calls.
Tuesday, April 10, 9:14 a.m. EDT: Trayvon Martin's mother expresses confidence in prosecutor: Trayvon Martin's mother, Sylvia Fulton, said today that she believes special prosecutor Angela Corey's decision to forgo a grand jury will not hamper the investigation into the shooting death of her son. "I just feel that it's going to give Miss Corey's office a chance to do a thorough investigation, and it will be in her hands," she explained on CBS This Morning.
Tuesday, April 10, 9:00 a.m. EDT: Shots fired into police car in Sanford: Six shots were fired into an empty police cruiser early today in the Florida neighborhood where Trayvon was shot and killed. "Are we a kindling box? Sure," Sanford Mayor Jeff Triplett told ABC News. "But we're working down a path, and so far it's been absolutely peaceful." Sanford is far from the only place where tension exists over the case. In Detroit on Sunday, an electronic highway sign was altered to include the word "Trayvon" followed by a racial slur. And at Ohio State University last week, the words "Long Live Zimmerman" were scrawled across the side of the Frank W. Hale Jr. Black Cultural Center, a part of the university's Office of Diversity and Inclusion.
Monday, April 9, 2:37 p.m. EDT: Special prosecutor will not call grand jury: The special prosecutor in the Trayvon Martin case will not convene a grand jury -- she'll decide herself whether to charge gunman George Zimmerman, MSNBC reports. A lawyer for Martin's family was hopeful that the decision means Corey feels she has enough evidence without calling a grand jury.
Monday, April 9, 9:15 a.m. EDT: Charging decision possible this week: A decision by a special prosecutor regarding whether to bring charges against George Zimmerman in Trayvon Martin's death is possible this week, CNN reports. The case could be taken up as early as Tuesday by a grand jury expected to convene in Seminole County, Fla.
Monday, April 9, 8:36 a.m. EDT: Homeowners association could be sued: The Associated Press reports that, if Trayvon Martin's family sues over his death, they may have a case against the homeowners association of the neighborhood where the shooting happened and Zimmerman lived.
Read last week's news about Trayvon Martin here.
Read all of The Root's coverage of and commentary on the Trayvon Martin case here.