Closing arguments underway in George Zimmerman trial

Produced by Danny Morales


(©2013 Pool / Gary W. Green, Orlando Sentinel)

State attorney Bernie De La Rionda used Zimmerman’s own words during the State’s closing argument on Thursday.

Ty Wright and Danny Morales / [email protected] and [email protected]

SANFORD — Trayvon Martin was murdered at “7:16:55” p.m. on February 26, 2012 by George Zimmerman, who is facing second-degree murder charges, however there were events leading up to the shooting that happened months before, according to a state attorney.

“The defendant assumed that the victim didn’t belong at the Retreat at Twin Lakes,” stated prosecutor Bernie de la Rionda, in the first segment of the State’s three-hour closing argument earlier Thursday afternoon, where he noted Zimmerman profiled the then 17-year old Martin. “He assumed Trayon Martin was a fucking punk and he was an asshole and he wasn’t going to get a away.”

Zimmerman, who was the neighborhood watch captain at the time is pleading not guilty in his second-degree murder trial claiming self defense.

De la Rionda poked holes in Zimmerman account calling him a “wannabe cop” stating he exaggerated his injuries to warrant his reasoning behind shooting Trayvon.

“Why does he have to lie about that? Because he doesn’t want to admit he was following this innocent young boy” said De la Rionda.

In a non-emergency call, Zimmerman was told by the police dispatcher that they did not need him to follow the suspicious teenage boy; who was later to be found dead, unarmed, carrying $40.15, a bag of skittles, and an Arizona brand watermelon fruit drink.

“If people are allowed to take laws into own hands, why do we have courtrooms. Why do we have jurors?,” stated de la Rionda, earlier today at the Seminole CountCriminal Justice Center.

The jury will go into deliberation tomorrow afternoon following defense attorney Mark O’mara closing argument, which is set to begin at 8:30 a.m., and assistant state attorney John Guy’s rebuttal.

Earlier in day the court decide on which lesser included charges the jury will be instructed on.

Manslaughter was the only lesser included charge that Judge Debra Nelson allowed, though the State argued that third-degree murder based on child abuse should also be considered.

At one point during the morning arguments, defense attorney Don West objected against the third degree murder charge, stating that the assistant state attorney Richard Mantei didn’t inform him that they would seeking the charge until 7:30 a.m. that morning.

“Oh my god,” said West after the State requested for third-degree murder to be considered. “Just when I thought this case couldn’t get any more bizarre, the State is seeking third-degree murder based on child abuse?”

Many legal experts believe that “manslaughter due to culpable negligence” will be the wording in Zimmerman’s lesser charge, which would not bring Florida’s “10-20-Life” law into play. The maximum sentence for manslaughter is 30 years in the state of Florida.

For updates about everything happening inside the courthouse follow Danny Morales (@Danny_Morales_) and Ty Wright (@Tru2Ty) on Twitter.