All-women jury chosen for George Zimmerman's trial
SANFORD, Fla. (AP) - A jury of six women, five of them white and the other a minority, was picked Thursday to decide the second-degree murder trial of George Zimmerman, a neighborhood watch volunteer who says he fatally shot Trayvon Martin, an unarmed black teenager, in self-defense.
Prosecutors have said Zimmerman, 29, racially profiled the 17-year-old Martin as he walked back from a convenience store on a rainy night Feb. 26, 2012, wearing a dark hooded shirt.
The race and ethnicity of the minority chosen for the jury was not immediately available. Zimmerman identifies himself as Hispanic.
Two of the jurors recently moved to the area - one from Iowa and one from Chicago - and two are involved with rescuing animals as their hobbies.
One juror had a prior arrest, but she said it was disposed of and she thought she was treated fairly. Two jurors have guns in their homes. All of their names have been kept confidential and the panel will be sequestered for the trial.
The central Florida community of Sanford is in Seminole County, which is 78.5 percent white and 16.5 percent black, roughly mirroring the jury's racial makeup.
Prosecutors and defense attorneys chose the panel of six jurors after almost two weeks of jury selection. In Florida, 12 jurors are required only for criminal trials involving capital cases, when the death penalty is being considered.
If convicted, Zimmerman could face a potential life sentence.
On Feb. 26, 2012, Zimmerman spotted Martin, whom he did not recognize, walking in the gated townhome community where Zimmerman lived and the fiancee of Martin's father also resided. There had been a rash of recent break-ins at the Retreat, and Zimmerman was wary of strangers walking through the complex.
The two eventually got into a struggle and Zimmerman shot Martin in the chest with his 9mm handgun. He was charged 44 days after the shooting, only after a special prosecutor was appointed to review the case.
Martin's shooting death and the initial decision not to charge Zimmerman led to public outrage and demonstrations around the nation, with some accusing Sanford police of failing to thoroughly investigate the shooting.
The six jurors were culled from a pool of 40 candidates who made it into a second round of jury questioning. Two men and two women also were picked as alternate jurors.
Before selecting the jurors Thursday, defense attorney Mark O'Mara explored potential jurors' views on guns, self-defense and justifiable use of force.
Under Florida law, Zimmerman could shoot Martin in self-defense if it was necessary to prevent death or great bodily harm. O'Mara previously decided not to invoke a "stand your ground" hearing in which a judge alone would decide whether to dismiss the case or allow it to proceed to trial.
Tuesday, December 10 2013 6:26 PM EST2013-12-10 23:26:06 GMT
WASHINGTON, D.C. (12/10/2013) - The federal government closed Tuesday due to severe snow and ice, but lawmakers are continuing to work on a budget deal ahead of another tight January deadline. However,More >>
Nearly 130,000 people in Ohio are set to lose their unemployment benefits if Congress does not pass an extension to the federal Emergency Unemployment Compensation program.More >>
Tuesday, December 10 2013 11:06 PM EST2013-12-11 04:06:30 GMT
There isn't a minute that goes by that Julia Niswender's family doesn't think about her.Even one year after her death, the feelings of loss and heartbreak are fresh."Tonight, is another opportunity toMore >>
Friends and family remember Julia Niswender, 23, one year after she was found dead in her apartment. Police have yet to make an arrest.More >>
Tuesday, December 10 2013 8:31 PM EST2013-12-11 01:31:51 GMT
The 13abc I-team was the first to tell you about cuts coming to the health insurance of Lucas county employees and Tuesday it became official. Nearly 700 Lucas County employee spouses will be losing theMore >>
The 13abc I-team was the first to tell you about cuts coming to the health insurance of Lucas county employees and Tuesday it became official. Nearly 700 Lucas County employee spouses will be losing the health insurance they now use.More >>
Tuesday, December 10 2013 8:09 PM EST2013-12-11 01:09:51 GMT
"The best way to spread Christmas cheer is ringing loud for all to hear!" 13abc is once again adopting a Red Kettle for The Salvation Army. On Thursday you'll see familiar faces throughout the day inMore >>
"The best way to spread Christmas cheer is ringing loud for all to hear!" 13abc is once again adopting a Red Kettle for The Salvation Army. On Thursday you'll see familiar faces throughout the day in front of The Andersons in Maumee.More >>
Tuesday, December 10 2013 6:27 PM EST2013-12-10 23:27:03 GMT
Toledo Police continue to look for the suspects responsible for a double murder Monday night.Two men were killed inside a home at 25 East Pearl street near Lagrange after someone shot it up. "He was notMore >>
Toledo police continue to look for the suspects responsible for a double murder Monday night after a house was shot up. It happened at 25 East Pearl street near Lagrange. 23 year old Darnell Green and 25 year old John Hill were killed. More >>
Tuesday, December 10 2013 6:24 PM EST2013-12-10 23:24:34 GMT
The dog known as "Princess P" is ready to find a "Forever Home" after surviving a horrible case of animal neglect in Toledo. Earlier this year, Lucas County Canine Care and Control found the pup withMore >>
The dog known as "Princess P" is ready to find a "Forever Home" after surviving a horrible case of animal neglect in Toledo.More >>
Tuesday, December 10 2013 3:37 PM EST2013-12-10 20:37:37 GMT
Wake Forest has hired Bowling Green's Dave Clawson to become the Demon Deacon's next football coach. In formally announcing the moved, athletic director Ron Wellman on Tuesday said in a release thatMore >>
Wake Forest has hired Bowling Green's Dave Clawson to become the Demon Deacon's next football coach.More >>