A Florida prosecutor is hoping to charge George Zimmerman for murder of Trayvon Martin, after a photo was released of Martin’s body the night he was killed.
The documents were released yesterday by the office of Special Prosecutor Angela Corey in the case of Zimmerman, who has been charged with second-degree murder for Martin’s death on February 26. More details below……
The documents revealed a photo of Martin’s body after his death, as well as Zimmerman’s college records, which were supposed to remain confidential.
TheSmokingGun.com published the image of the teenager’s body lying face-down in grass.
The files showed that officers who investigated the scene found Martin’s blood on a bag of Skittles in his pocket and emails from the Sanford Police Department, the Orlando Sentinel reports.
The records from Seminole State College reveal that Zimmerman had been placed on academic probation in 2011 for failing to keep his grade point average above 2.0. The records also show that Zimmerman had been granted an administrative withdrawal about a month after the shooting.
However, Zimmerman will try to have second-degree murder charges dismissed under Florida’s Stand Your Ground law. The hearing will involve evidence collected by prosecutors and expert testimony from both sides, that will likely take place in several months.
Legal experts say that it’s likely that Zimmerman will testify since he is the only survivor of the incident.
The Stand Your Ground law allows Circuit Judge Kenneth Lester to dismiss the murder charges if Zimmerman shows that he shot Martin because he “reasonably believed” that he might have been killed or suffered “great bodily harm” himself.
The law also says that a person has no duty to retreat in the face of such a threat.
Zimmerman’s statement said that evidence released by prosecutors shows “clear support for a strong claim of self-defense.”
The statement added that Zimmerman’s attorney Mark O’Mara “urges everyone to be patient during this process and to reserve judgment until the evidence is presented in the Stand Your Ground hearing.”
Zimmerman, who is free on $1 million bail, could face a life prison sentence if convicted of second-degree murder.
However, if the Stand Your Ground claims prevail, the criminal charges against Zimmerman would be dismissed and Zimmerman will not be held liable for any civil action.
Plus, legal experts say that Zimmerman’s credibility is essential to sway the judge. However, he undermined his own cause when he deceived the judge about his finances during an April bond hearing.
That alleged deception led to perjury charges against Zimmerman’s wife, Shellie. She has pleaded not guilty.
Lester, who will also decide the self-defence claim, said Zimmerman “flaunted the system” by making misleading statements about how much money the couple had raised through online contributions from supporters.
The judge revoked Zimmerman’s initial $150,000 bond and had him returned to jail. He then allowed Zimmerman to leave jail on a $1 million bail with additional restrictions.