George Zimmerman, the 28-year-old neighborhood watch coordinator who shot and killed 17-year-old Trayvon Martin on Feb. 26th in Sanford, Florida, has been charged with second-degree murder. He is being held without bail.
The charges reportedly carry a maximum sentence of life in prison.
“Just moments ago we spoke with Sybrina Fulton and Tracy Martin, the sweet parents of Trayvon,” Angela Corey, the special prosecutor investigating the case, said at a news conference in Jacksonville. “They now know charges have been filed, and that George Zimmerman is in custody.”
“We did not come to this decision lightly,” she said, declining to discuss specifics of the investigation. “We’re law enforcement. We enforce the law.”
Zimmerman turned himself in and is now in police custody in Florida.
There’s been an overwhelming amount of publicity surrounding the case—both in the news and in social media. Support has been seen across the country, with celebrities, politicians and protesters all weighing in on the case—even President Obama made a statement. The media has ridden the story for so long that everything from events, to race and photo choice has been argued over.
Corey expressed concern about irreparable damage being done to a potential jury pool due to the media coverage. She said, “It’s regrettable that so many facts got released and misconstrued.”
Still, there is an overwhelming response that justice is finally being served.
Martin’s parents spoke briefly at the press conference, saying:
“We simply wanted an arrest, and we got it,” Fulton said. “Thank you Lord. Thank you Jesus … A heart has no color. It’s not white, it’s not black–it’s red. And I just want to thank you from my heart to your heart.”
“We will continue to walk by faith,” Tracy Martin said. “And we will march and march and march until the right thing is done.”
What are your thoughts on this heart-wrenching story?