NATION

George Zimmerman trial live video: Jury continues deliberations

Comment
Decrease Increase Text size

SANFORD, Fla. (AP) - The jury in George Zimmerman's murder trial continued its second day of deliberations Saturday, weighing whether the neighborhood watch volunteer committed a crime almost a year and a half ago when he fatally shot Trayvon Martin.

Video 1

Jurors reconvened Saturday morning, deliberated for three hours and then broke for lunch. They resumed their discussions about 1 p.m.

Meanwhile, about two dozen people gathered outside the courthouse awaiting a verdict, with supporters of the Martin family outnumbering those there for Zimmerman. One man held a sign that read, "We love you George." A woman lay in the grass in a hoodie, her arms spread, in a re-creation of Martin's death.

On Twitter, Martin's mother, Sybrina Fulton, shared what she called her favorite Bible verse: "Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight."

MORE: Sign up for breaking news alerts to get the verdict delivered to your inbox the moment it's handed down

On Friday afternoon, as the jury began deliberations, police and civic leaders in this Orlando suburb went on national television to plead for calm in Sanford and across the country if Zimmerman, who identifies himself as Hispanic, is acquitted. Martin was black.

"There is no party in this case who wants to see any violence," Seminole County Sheriff Don Eslinger said. "We have an expectation upon this announcement that our community will continue to act peacefully."

Last year, people protested in Sanford and across the country last year when authorities waited 44 days before arresting Zimmerman.

Zimmerman, 29, is charged with second-degree murder, but the jury also is allowed to consider manslaughter.

The judge's decision to allow that consideration was a potentially heavy blow to the defense: It could give jurors who aren't convinced the shooting amounted to murder a way to hold Zimmerman responsible for the killing.

To win a manslaughter conviction, prosecutors must show only that Zimmerman killed without lawful justification.

Zimmerman faces a maximum prison sentence of life for second-degree murder and 30 years if convicted of manslaughter, due to extra sentencing guidelines for committing a crime with a gun.

The sequestered jury of six women - all but one of them white - must sort through conflicting testimony from police, neighbors, friends and family members.

MORE: Download the WJLA app for iPhone or Android to be alerted the moment the verdict is handed down

Jurors deliberated for three and a half hours when they decided to stop Friday evening. About two hours into their discussions, they asked for a list of the evidence. Their identities are being kept anonymous - they are identified only by number - but they revealed information about themselves during jury selection.

- B-51 is retired, not married and doesn't have kids. She has worked in real estate and run a call center where she said she had experience resolving conflicts.

- B-29 recently moved to central Florida from Chicago. She works as a nurse on an Alzheimer's section of a nursing home. She is married and has several children. A prosecutor described her as "black or Hispanic" during jury selection.

- B-76 is a white woman who has lived in central Florida for 18 years. She manages rental properties with her husband of 30 years. She has two adult children.

- B-37 is a white woman who volunteers rescuing animals. She is married to an attorney and has two adult children.

- E-6 is married and has two children. She has worked in financial services and is active in her church.

- E-40 works as a safety officer and recently moved to Seminole County from Iowa.

Here are five questions jurors have to sort out:

WHOSE SCREAMS ARE ON 911 CALLS?

Convincing jurors about whose voice is screaming for help on 911 calls that captured audio of the fight was the primary goal of prosecutors and defense attorneys. Martin's mother, father and brother testified it's the Miami teen screaming for help on recordings of the 911 calls made by Zimmerman's neighbors. Zimmerman's mother, uncle, father and five friends told jurors it was the neighborhood watch volunteer's voice. One of Zimmerman's neighbors, Jayne Surdyka, says the screams were those of a boy.

WHO WAS ON TOP?

Zimmerman was wearing a red jacket, and Martin had on a dark hoodie. Zimmerman's former neighbor Jonathan Good, perhaps the witness with the best view of what happened, says he saw a person in dark clothing straddling someone in red or white clothing and making downward movements with his fists in a mixed-martial arts maneuver known as "ground and pound." Neighbors Selma Mora and Surdyka say the person on top got up after the shooting. Zimmerman's attorneys say Zimmerman had been on the bottom but got on top of Martin after he fired his gun.

HOW DID POSITION OF MARTIN'S ARMS CHANGE?

Zimmerman told investigators that Martin was on top of him, pounding his head into the pavement. After he fired his gun, he says, he got on top of Martin and spread his arms. However, a photo taken moments later by Zimmerman's neighbor shows Martin's arms under his body. Defense expert Vincent DiMaio testified Martin could have moved his arms in the 10 to 15 seconds he would have been conscious after being shot in the heart.

DID ZIMMERMAN ACT IN SELF-DEFENSE?

Zimmerman has argued all along he acted in self-defense, although he passed up chance for a self-defense "stand your ground" hearing in which a judge could have thrown out the case without it going to a jury if the judge was convinced there was enough evidence to support it. Zimmerman's community college instructor, Alexis Francisco Carter, told jurors that a person can claim self-defense if they have a reasonable fear of death or great bodily harm. In their jury instructions, jurors were told self-defense is justified in using deadly force if Zimmerman reasonably believed that such force was necessary to prevent imminent death or great bodily harm to himself.

DID ZIMMERMAN ACT WITH ILL WILL, HATRED, SPITE OR EVIL INTENT?

To get a second-degree murder conviction, prosecutors must show that Zimmerman acted with ill will, hatred, spite or evil intent. Prosecutors argued that profanities Zimmerman uttered under his breath while he watched Martin walk through his neighborhood were evidence of ill will and hatred. But when asked by prosecutors and defense attorneys, no witness said Zimmerman acted with these traits. The judge presiding over the case also is letting jurors consider the lesser charge of manslaughter. To get a manslaughter conviction, prosecutors must show only that Zimmerman killed without lawful justification.

Would you like to contribute to this story? Join the discussion.

Recommended For You
comments powered by Disqus