Jury deliberations in George Zimmerman’s murder trial entered their second day on Saturday after three weeks of testimony centered on events surrounding the 2012 fatal shooting of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin during a scuffle in a gated Florida community.
Meanwhile, police in Sanford, Fla., the Orlando suburb where the shooting took place, were pleading for calm regardless of the verdict in the racially charged trial.
“There is no party in this case who wants to see any violence,” Seminole County Sheriff Don Eslinger said Friday on national television as the case went to the jury.
“We have an expectation upon this announcement that our community will continue to act peacefully,” he said.
In closing arguments on Thursday and Friday, the defense sought to portray Zimmerman, 29, as a civic-minded neighborhood watch volunteer who tried to protect himself from an aggressive Martin. Prosecutors said Zimmerman was a “wannabe cop” who falsely profiled Martin as a criminal, then pursued and killed him.
The sequestered jury, all women, deliberated for more than three hours on Friday before adjourning for the day. They will resume at 9 a.m. ET Saturday. The six jurors have the option of acquitting Zimmerman or convicting him either of second-degree murder or the lesser charge of manslaughter.
We will update this post if there’s a verdict or any other significant developments in the case as the day goes on.