DETROIT (WWJ) – Jurors in Florida have found George Zimmerman not guilty of second-degree murder in the fatal shooting of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin.
The six-member, all-woman jury deliberated for more than 15 hours over two days before reaching their decision Saturday night.
WWJ Legal Analyst Charlie Langton says he’s pretty shocked by the outcome:
“I am a little bit surprised, yes,” said Langton. “Surpirsed because there was a gun involved and there was a dead 17-year-old, but you have to respect the juries decision. They heard all of the evidence and in Florida the self defense argument – you go back to the burden on the prosecutor to prove that it wasn’t self-defense and that was a very, very difficult burden.”
Jurors had been given the chance to convict Zimmerman of manslaughter but did not do so, despite asking for a clarification of the charge earlier in the evening.
After hearing the verdict, Judge Debra Nelson told Zimmerman he was free to go.