George Zimmerman is in custody and has been charged with second degree murder in the Feb. 26 killing of Trayvon Martin in Sandford, Fla. This much anticipated action was announced and confirmed by Florida special prosecutor, Angela Corey, in an April 11 press conference in Jacksonville, Fla.
In response to a battery of questions, many of which she declined to answer because of the rules of criminal procedure, she confirmed that Zimmerman had indeed turned himself in.
Zimmerman, 28, said he shot Martin Feb. 26 out of fear for his own life after being attacked by the unarmed 17-year-old.
Demonstrators have poured into Sanford from all over the country to protest the fact that Zimmerman has yet to be arrested and charged. Numerous supporters across
America have also held marches in honor of the teen.
The prosecutor’s ruling comes just a day after Zimmerman’s attorneys announced that they no longer represent him and had no contact with him since April 8. They added that they have no knowledge of their former client’s whereabouts.
According to CNN, Zimmerman recently started a website to raise money for his defense and living expenses.
Debate has raged over whether the teen attacked the neighborhood watchman after he was approached during the Feb. 26 incident. Funeral director Richard Kurtz, who handled Martin’s body said on Headline News’ “Nancy Grace Show” March 28 that he saw no signs of struggle on the teen’s hands and did not observe any evidence that he had been involved in a fight.
Kurt’s claims came shortly after Zimmerman’s father, a Sanford law enforcement officer, asserted that Martin had severely beaten Zimmerman by punching him in the nose and repeatedly slamming his head on the ground.
Initial footage of Zimmerman being taken into custody shortly after he killed the teen showed no evidence to support claims that he had been beaten, but enhanced video footage released by ABC News shows the neighborhood watchman with a gash on his head. The footage does not show Zimmerman with any blood on his shirt or an injured nose, however.
Sources told ABC News that the surveillance tape of Zimmerman could ultimately be used as evidence.
Shortly before the prosecutor’s ruling, Sanford Mayor Jeff Triplett said the city has become a “kindling box” due to many residents’ intense feelings of the case. He added that he “plans for the worst and hopes for the best.”