SANFORD, Fla. (AP) — George Zimmerman‘s attorney doubts he will be able to find jurors who haven’t heard about the Trayvon Martin fatal shooting. He just wants to pick people who haven’t already made up their mind about the case.

Jury selection begins Monday in the Orlando suburb of Sanford, Fla., the scene of massive protests by people who were angered that police waited 44 days before charging Zimmerman with second-degree murder. Other demonstrations were held around the country, and the case drew worldwide attention as it fanned a debate about race, equal justice under the law and gun control.

There is no dispute Zimmerman shot an unarmed Martin, 17, during a fight on a rainy night in February 2012. Prosecutors will try to show the neighborhood watch volunteer racially profiled the black teenager, while Zimmerman’s attorney must convince jurors Zimmerman pulled his 9 mm handgun and fired a bullet into the high school student’s chest because he feared for his life.

Zimmerman is charged with second-degree murder. He says he shot Martin in self-defense. If convicted, Zimmerman, who identifies himself as Hispanic, could get a life sentence.

Under Florida law, Zimmerman, 29, could shoot Martin in self-defense if it was necessary to prevent death or great bodily harm.

His lead attorney, Mark O’Mara, has to be careful how he characterizes Martin, said Randy McClean, an Orlando-area defense attorney.

“Mr. O’Mara’s challenge is to show Trayvon wasn’t profiled, that Zimmerman either saw something that looked suspicious or something else that caused him to make contact with Trayvon.”

McClean and another Orlando defense attorney, David Hill, predicted prosecutors will attack Zimmerman as a frustrated, would-be police officer who had a chip on his shoulder. Zimmerman was employed at a mortgage risk management firm. He had studied criminal justice at a community college and had volunteered to run his community’s neighborhood watch program.

“The state’s narrative is going to be … Zimmerman was a powerful neighborhood watchman, a wannabe officer who liked to use his authority,” McClean said.

The Feb. 26, 2012, confrontation began when Zimmerman spotted Martin, whom he did not recognize, walking in the Retreat at Twin Lakes, 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. He was well-known to police dispatchers for his regular calls reporting suspicious people and events.

Martin was walking back from a convenience store after buying ice tea and Skittles. It was raining, and he was wearing a hoodie.

Zimmerman called 911, got out of his vehicle and followed Martin behind the townhomes despite being told not to by a police dispatcher. “These a——s, they always get away,” Zimmerman said on the call. Zimmerman, who had a concealed weapons permit, was armed.

The two then got into a struggle. Zimmerman told police he had lost sight of Martin, and that Martin circled back and attacked him as he walked back to his truck. Prosecutors say he tracked down Martin and started the fight.

Zimmerman told police Martin punched him in the nose, knocking him down, and then got on top of him and began banging Zimmerman’s head on the sidewalk. Photos taken after the fight show Zimmerman with a broken nose, bruises and bloody cuts on the back of his head. He said that when Martin spotted his gun holstered around his waist under his clothes, he said, “You are going to die tonight.” Zimmerman said he grabbed the gun first and fired. Martin died at the scene.

Given the low visibility on the dark, rainy night of the shooting, few residents of the Retreat at Twin Lakes were able to give investigators a good description of what happened, and several offered conflicting accounts of who was on top of whom during the struggle.

But 911 calls made by neighbors captured cries for help during the fight and then the gunshot. Martin’s parents say the cries for help were from their son, while Zimmerman’s father has testified they were from his son. Voice-recognition experts could play an important role in helping jurors decide who was screaming, provided they are allowed to testify. O’Mara had raised questions about whether such prosecution experts would mislead jurors and Circuit Judge Debra Nelson has yet to rule.

The shooting received little initial attention, but that changed after Martin’s parents hired Benjamin Crump, a prominent civil rights attorney. He began complaining to the news media, accusing the police and prosecutors of letting the murderer of a black child go free, and contacting other civil rights leaders, including the Revs. Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton, to get their support.

Gov. Rick Scott appointed State Attorney Angela B. Corey from the nearby Jacksonville district to re-examine the case. She decided to charge Zimmerman.

For the past year, Zimmerman has been free on $1 million bond and living in seclusion.

O’Mara earlier 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.

It’s not clear whether Zimmerman will take the stand, but he has already testified in pretrial hearings.

Another crucial witness will be a Miami-area female friend of Martin’s who was talking to the teen by cellphone as he was walking through the Retreat at Twin Lakes followed by Zimmerman. She says Martin told her during that conversation that someone was following him and that she also heard a brief exchange between him and someone before the phone was cut off. Martin was shot shortly afterward. But O’Mara already has called into question her credibility, accusing her of lying about missing Martin’s funeral because she was in the hospital.

Prosecutors have refused to comment about the case outside the courtroom. Areas near the courthouse have been designated for expected protests.

“We want to make sure this trial is tried in a courtroom and not outside a courtroom,” lead prosecutor Bernie de la Rionda said.

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27 thoughts on “Jury Selection to Begin for Zimmerman’s Trial

  1. JanCorey on said:

    Trayvon did need some more action that fateful night, he needed more bullets to his head imo. Thank God our Lord was there to help Mr. Zimmerman.

    • JanCorey on said:

      Ohh my D.T., your ignorance is shining through. Try, instead, to not attack those better-informed than yourself simply because they are better-informed. May I suggest using actual facts in this case instead. We will pray for you and hope you do not harm anymore people like Trayvon did until he was stopped. Thank God! And, thank you Mr. Zimmerman for stopping that illegally-high-punk. You shot him once, I would have unloaded the gun if I had a choice.

      • From your last post, you posted about trusting in God! By your comments you hate Christ and your neighbor, which equates to murder! Therefore not only did Zimmerman murder Trayvon, you helped too. 1 John 3: 15 Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no ° murderer hath eternal life abiding in him.

      • JanCorey on said:

        I love God and hate what Trayvon did and I am so happy he’s now dead. He deserved that. Thank you Mr. Zimmerman.

      • joey on said:

        To everyone on line of this website please lets not even answer to this Ignorant JanCorey……
        he/or she is Ignorant and Ranting and Raving

        How zimmerman should get a medal for killing trayvon, lets not get into with this Ignorant Un-educated Fool. No need for us to continue to bring ourselves down to his level.

    • JanCorey on said:

      They need a count-down-clock so we can all keep track of how many hours are left until the Acquittal. God bless George Zimmerman and I thank him for taking out part of the problem there is with so many youths today. One less now, we praise the Lord.

    • JanCorey on said:

      I agree that Trayvon was headed to prison anyways and his death is a blessing for the community at large. His future was prison, no doubt about it and after this trial, then the parents of Trayvon need to be prosecuted for endangering our safety and iof a vigilante takes them both out, there should be an award given for that. Enough of these senseless beating by drug-thugs like Trayvon. I am ecstatic he’s now dead, God protects the good people, thanks God for eliminating that monster-Trayvon. Now, get his parents within the bounds of the Law. LWOP or the death penalty done by the courts, not dopne in the streets.

      • joey on said:

        @ Jancorey I cannot believe you would be happy that someone is dead!,,, and that you believe his parents Raised a THUG,, you are a piece of work,

        How can you sit there and look at yourself to be happy a young man died, in a violent act, are you kidding me,,!!! That was irresponsible on George’s part ,, and if trayvon was high. what! smoking
        weed that ain’t sh*t if anybody on this website would agree that 95% of Americans are smoking weed
        everyday,, If trayvon was so HIgh why is he dead and not George.

        If you TRUST IN GOD/ HIM OR HER/ How can you be happy that someone died. George shot and killed his neighbor that he was suppose to be protecting/….. That was trayvon’s Neighborhood as well. Get your life! and stop using GOD in this. THE BEAST IS LOSE. AND THAT IS SOMETHING
        WE ALL NEED TO RECOGNIZE.. and He is on a Ram-page. ( as yourself as well)

      • JanCorey on said:

        Absolutely Joey, I coulod not be happier Trayvon is now dead, did you see what he did to Mr. Zimmerman? I saw some of the pictures and it makes me wanting to have been there to help Mr. Zimmerman when Trayvon has bashing Mr. Zimmerman’s head into the cement walkway. George only shot once, I would have unloaded all arms upon that Trayvon-monster and then went out to seek Justice against Trayvon’s parents to hold them accountable for endangering our community with such a wasteful-POS-trayvon.God has placed Trayvon in Hell already, not it’s time to take legal actions against gangsta-mom and gangststa-dad. Gun Control IS being able to hit your target.

      • joey on said:

        Like I Said YOU are A beast and you just another worker for satan. how do you know trayvon is in hell? Really are you serious!!!. OH you got the 411 on Where trayvon went.. WOW I DIDN’T YOU WAS THE POPE. George was also raised by a Thugged OUT Family, No values NO morals, NO responsibility and No regard for life. But I won’t commenting anymore on George or you or your opinions. or your comments. I have better things to do


      • JanCorey on said:

        I agree with you Joey that if Justice prevails, then Mr. Zimmerman will be acquitted and Trayvon’s parents will both be imprisoned for their failures in raising such a monster like Trayvon. At the very least, at least Trayvon can assault no other victims now. Thank God!

      • joey on said:

        @ Jancorey please I don’t need you to agree with me.. Zimmerman is going to pay for what he did,,
        bottom line TRAYVON will get justice. and so will the other teen that was killed

        just sitting in his car, when that man got out and shot through his car. he also will be doing time
        the STAND YOUR GROUND LAW WILL ALSO BE REVIEWED SOON. AND WON’T BE ON THE BOOKS ANYMORE. so you White supremacy won’t be able to use that against young black teens,,

        bottom line you just cannot go around shouting young people who are not bothering anyone.
        because you think your life is in danger…Because People of color are everywhere, and we will be
        everywhere. for the rest of The days to come. Thank GOD for Black people and people of color.
        Amen To Jesus.. Because Jesus was black ( or didn’t you know that),,,

      • JanCorey on said:

        I agree with you Joey that Mr. Zimmerman should win an award for killing that drug-user-punk-Trayvon, only wish his parents were there at the scene to tell their son to not attack a victim and to stop beating the victim’s head into the cement. Then, if they appeared threatening like they do now, I’d eliminate those threats as well. Trayvon was killed with only one bullet, he got off lucky imo.

      • JanCorey on said:

        I agree with you Joey that Travis Alexander was a child-pedophile. Just thank God Jodi eliminated the threat by Travis to other little boys.

      • JanCorey on said:

        I couldn’t be happier that Trayvon is now dead, it leaves one more prison slot for Trayvon’s buddies. Thank God Trayvon didn’t harm any children that night, he surely would have if given the chance. trayvon was high on illegal-drugs.

      • JanCorey on said:

        I couldn’t be happier that Trayvon is now dead, it leaves one more prison slot for Trayvon’s buddies. Thank God Trayvon didn’t harm any children that night, he surely would have if given the chance. trayvon was high on illegal-drugs.

  2. JanCorey on said:

    We trust in God to provide an adequate jury for Mr. Zimmerman for a fair trial and God bless Mr. Zimmerman for eradicating this world from that crime-monster-Trayvon. Next step, I hope the parents of Martin get charged with crimes for endangering our communities with a want-to-be-thug-Trayvon. Mr. Zimmerman freed up another spot in the prison system for where Trayvon ultimately would have gone had he not attacked Mr. Zimmerman and his parents both need some time there in prison now to reflect on how poor they raised their thug-mugster and they both deserve about fifteen years to contemplate their errors against society as a whole imo.

    • I know you can’ be trusting in the God above! Because the God above sees Zimmerman as a murderer and a liar, which has no place in His kingdom. And if he walks, it’s fine. He will not have a great life because he will always be known as a murderer! And not just for Blacks, but other races; too. Whites will probably say; ‘aint you the man that killed that n…. !”

      • joey on said:

        @ Monique well written and well said, we have to Look at the women who has her Blind-fold on and has the balances in her hands, because justice is blind and it weighs out to what? there is different Laws for women, white women ,, black women and black men and white people. when it comes to crime. I was born and raised in Detroit where there is still Race wars,

        We still have to remember that George still shot and killed an unarmed teen, and disregarded the police officers orders over the phone. George Z, violated Trayvon Civil Rights. and took his life,
        and for what? lets ask ourselves why was George Z. was out there with a weapon. I have never heard of neighborhood watch people have weapons. and why is it taking so long to find a jury,, They need to get this out of way and let America know its not Okay to Shoot and kill any unarmed teen. George z, has no Value for life. and does not know anything about it…. Just think if Trayvon had a weapon and killed George. he would have been under the jail house, he wouldn’t even had a chance in getting a fair Trial,, so For JanCorey Get your life together and do your research on The justice system.

      • JanCorey on said:

        Thank God George Zimmerman shot and killed an unarmed teenager. Just remember, Trayvon threatened to kill George and George had every right to defend himself as he did; pictures substantiate the threat by Trayvon. If it could all be done all over again, I would hope Trayvon’s parents were there to convince their son to stop assaulting George Zimmerman, and if they didn’t do that, I would hope all three were gunned down which is in accordance to the Law. Sterilize the parents of Trayvon and our safety has been too much compromised by allowing individuals like Trayvon to roam out streets unsupervised.

      • joey on said:

        @ jancorey well thank God we will see George go to prison, he will have to pay for this killing. we are not safe at all, If we have people like Zimmerman on the street,,

        He will have to pay for what he did. trust me),, he will not be acquitted. he is guilty and he knows and America knows it. We are just Glad he is off the street. He has no remorse. he think this is funny,
        wait until he gets locked up. and really see how it works in prison. he won’t have THE STAND YOUR GROUND LAW in prison. so we will see what happens. GOD has nothing to do with this. this was an act of violence and Irresponsiblity on George’s part. I’m very happy the judge let the defense know that you cannot use trayvon’s Past on trial, Because he is dead all the evidence that they think they have will not matter. George is off the streets. and he will never be back on the streets. so that is a good thing. and he will never get to own another fire arm.

        Its a good thing George is not roaming the streets, thank you jesus. we are so happy. George thought he was in the clear. but when he walked away from trayvon he thought he was in the clear
        but He is not in the clear.

      • JanCorey on said:

        Trayvon was high at the time on illegal drugs, no joke. Try to look at the evidence and then if you actually understand it, then you might realize that Mr. Zimmerman did nothing wrong and eliminated the threat legally. If I was there that night, Trayvon would not have as much body-mass left. George Zimmerman for President of the United States!!!

      • JanCorey on said:

        Victims of beatings usually don’t ever go to prison, at least Trayvon is in the right place now and for that, I thank Mr. Zimmerman.

      • joey on said:

        @ jancorey, whoever you are, One Ignorant Un-educated. Fool, but I will not be commenting on this website listening to your Ranting and Raving. Because you think you are special ,,, YOUR NOT!,
        YOu just another frustrated Uptight whoever you working for.. you need to get yourself together,

        And CHECK YOURSELF. Your going to be Highly dissapointed when George goes to prison,

      • JanCorey on said:

        I trust in God and you are going to Hell, look it up. Good luck down there and bring some marshmellowss.

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