Zimmerman faces life in prison for Trayvon Martin death - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

Zimmerman in custody, charged with 2nd degree murder

Zimmerman's mug shot. He was booked into a Seminole County, FL jail Wednesday night. (Source: Seminole County Sheriff) Zimmerman's mug shot. He was booked into a Seminole County, FL jail Wednesday night. (Source: Seminole County Sheriff)
Trayvon Martin. (Source: Jerome Horton/CNN) Trayvon Martin. (Source: Jerome Horton/CNN)

SANFORD, FL (RNN) - The Florida neighborhood watch captain who shot and killed a teenager on his way home from a nearby store will face second-degree murder charges.

Special prosecutor Angela Corey announced the charges against George Zimmerman Wednesday afternoon, saying "we did not come to this decision lightly."

"Let me emphasize that we do not prosecute by public pressure or by petition," she said. "We prosecute based on the facts of any given case, as well as the laws of the state of Florida." 

Zimmerman, 28, could face life in prison and up to $10,000 in fines for the shooting death of Trayvon Martin, 17.

She would not discuss the details of the case or the reasoning behind the charges.

Zimmerman turned himself in and was taken into custody. He was booked into the John E. Polk Correctional Facility Wednesday night. 

Zimmerman is currently being held without bond. Corey said his lawyers would be able to request bond at a later time.

Zimmerman has new legal counsel after his attorneys dropped him on Tuesday, a day before the charges came down.

According to his new attorney, Mark O'Mara, Zimmerman will plead not guilty.

"I ask you not to pre-judge George Zimmerman and please do not pre-judge the criminal justice system," O'Mara said. "It's going to work. We just need to let it work."

O'Mara said his client is "troubled" by everything that has happened.

The Martins were at an event for the National Action Network, a civil rights organization founded by the Rev. Al Sharpton, when the news broke.

"We wanted an arrest, nothing more and nothing less," Sybrina Fulton, Martin's mother, said tearfully. "And we got it. Thank you Lord. Thank you Jesus."

Earlier on Wednesday, the Martin family emphasized that they did not condone violent protests in the name of their son.

"When the special prosecutor makes her decision, we want to make sure that everything remains peaceful and responsible, and that nothing gets out of hand," Crump said.

The Sanford Police Department told CNN that they were preparing for the possibility of violence.

It has been 44 days since Martin was killed, a point of frustration for the Martin family and protestors across the country.

"All we're asking for is an arrest so we know the wheels of justice are turning," Crump said earlier Wednesday.

Corey told reporters in Jacksonville, FL that there were "numerous cases" where arrests were delayed in similar situations.

Corey was handed the case less than three weeks ago after state attorney Norm Wolfinger recused himself.

At the same event, Attorney General Eric Holder told a crowd that the Justice Department and FBI are still investigating whether Zimmerman will face federal civil rights crime charges for the shooting.

Martin was shot and killed by Zimmerman, who thought Martin looked "suspicious" as he walked through a gated community. Zimmerman claimed he shot the teen in self-defense.

Citing Florida's Stand Your Ground law, police didn't arrest Zimmerman at the time because they said evidence on the scene matched his story.

Copyright 2012 Raycom News Network. All rights reserved.

Trayvon Martin (SIDEBAR)


SLIDESHOW: Outrage over Trayvon Martin case Trayvon Martin, 17, was shot and killed last month by George Zimmerman, self-appointed captain of an unofficial neighborhood watch, while walking to his father's. More>>

Zimmerman emails (SIDEBAR)


A reporter with the blog Loop21 says he engaged in an email exchange with George Zimmerman shortly after his personal website hit the internet. More>>

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