Florida Judge Allows Manslaughter Charges for George Zimmerman – Up to 30 Years in Jail
Manslaughter charges would put Zimmerman behind bars for up to 30 years.
The Daily Caller reported:
Judge Debra Nelson ruled Thursday that the jury in the George Zimmerman trial will have the option to convict Zimmerman of manslaughter for the shooting death of Trayvon Martin, but that they won’t be able to consider third-degree murder.
The highest charge against Zimmerman is second-degree murder. Under Florida law, that charge is an unlawful killing which “evinces a depraved mind regardless of human life.”
Zimmerman’s defense said they only wanted the jury to consider the initial second-degree charge. “We don’t want a compromise verdict, just like we don’t want a jury pardon,” said Zimmerman attorney Mark O’Mara on Wednesday. “We want a verdict based on the facts of the law and that’s an acquittal.”
In an apparent surprise to Zimmerman’s defense, state attorneys also sought to include a charge of third-degree murder against Zimmerman Thursday morning. They argued that Zimmerman committed child abuse against Martin who was 17-years-old when he was killed.
Read more: http://dailycaller.com/2013/07/11/judge-allows-jury-to-consider-manslaughter-in-zimmerman-case/#ixzz2YlyuRWuG
The judge in the George Zimmerman trial will decide today if the jury can consider lesser charges, including aggravated assault in the case.
USA Today reported:
The judge in the George Zimmerman murder trial will decide Thursday if she will grant a prosecution request to allow the jury to consider lesser charges, including aggravated assault.
State prosecutors are asking the judge in the Trayvon Martin murder case to instruct the jury to consider lesser charges — manslaughter and aggravated assault — when they begin deliberations Friday.
Zimmerman’s attorneys have objected, and Judge Debra Nelson will hold a hearing Thursday morning to decide whether jurors should consider the new charges. The jury would still have the option of convicting Zimmerman, 29, of the second-degree murder charge that prosecutors sought when the trial began.
The last-minute maneuvering has been seen by some legal experts as an indication that prosecutors are not as confident about their chances for a second-degree murder conviction. Zimmerman, a neighborhood watch volunteer, has been portrayed by prosecutors as a wanna-be cop who shot Trayvon, who is black, after a confrontation in a gated residential community.