Zimmerman shoots for self-defence

2012-08-09 21:01
George Zimmerman will try to have the murder charge dismissed under Florida's "stand your ground" self-defence law. (AP)

George Zimmerman will try to have the murder charge dismissed under Florida's "stand your ground" self-defence law. (AP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Miami - The US man charged in the fatal shooting of an unarmed black teen that led to national protests will try to have the murder charge dismissed under Florida's "stand your ground" self-defence law, his attorney said on Thursday.

George Zimmerman, a neighbourhood watch volunteer, shot 17-year-old Trayvon Martin after a confrontation in Zimmerman's gated community, where Martin was visiting. The case drew anger because Zimmerman was not arrested for weeks after the shooting.

A statement posted on Zimmerman's official defence website says evidence released by prosecutors shows "clear support for a strong claim of self-defence".

A hearing on the self-defence claim likely won't take place for several months. The statement added that Zimmerman 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".

Under the law, the judge can dismiss the charges if Zimmerman conclusively shows he fatally shot Martin because he "reasonably believed" he might be killed or suffer "great bodily harm" at the hands of the unarmed teenager. The law also says a person has no duty to retreat in the face of such a threat.

Aggression

Martin's parents have contended that Zimmerman singled out their son as he was returning from a convenience store because he was black and that it was Zimmerman's aggression that led to his death.

Zimmerman, who is free on $1m bail, faces a possible life prison sentence if convicted of second-degree murder.

If his "stand your ground" claim succeeds, however, the criminal charge would be dismissed and Zimmerman could not be held liable in any civil action such as a wrongful death lawsuit. Prosecutors would likely appeal a successful self-defence claim.

A spokesperson for special prosecutor Angela Corey declined comment. An attorney for Martin's parents did not immediately return a telephone call seeking comment.
Read more on:    us

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.