<![CDATA[NBC 6 South Florida - Trayvon Martin]]> Copyright 2014 http://www.nbcmiami.com/feature/trayvon-martin http://media.nbcbayarea.com/designimages/NBC+6+LOGO+GOOGLE.png NBC 6 South Florida http://www.nbcmiami.com en-us Sun, 20 Apr 2014 04:17:43 -0400 Sun, 20 Apr 2014 04:17:43 -0400 NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[George Zimmerman Credited With Rescuing Family Trapped in Car]]> Mon, 22 Jul 2013 18:01:51 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/AP13062018951.jpg

Four days after a jury found him not guilty in the death of Trayvon Martin, George Zimmerman has reappeared.

This time, he’s being credited with rescuing a family trapped in an overturned car. New details are just emerging of this incident that happened last Wednesday near the intersection of Interstate 4 and State Road 46 in Sanford, Fla.

Seminole County Police say a family of four went off the road and their SUV rolled over. That’s when Zimmerman and another man sprang into action helping the two kids and their parents get out of the car alive.

This is the first sighting of the former neighborhood watch since his highly publicized acquittal that prompted many rallies and protests.

Also Monday, Sanford police have turned over all of the evidence from Zimmerman’s trial to the FBI and the Department of Justice.

This, as federal investigators look into whether Zimmerman violated Trayvon Martin’s civil rights.

The items sent to the feds include the clothes that both Zimmerman and Martin were wearing the night of the shooting. Police also sent the Arizona drink can and Skittles Martin was carrying that night, as well as Zimmerman’s gun.

 



Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Trayvon Martin's Parents Speak on "Today Show"]]> Thu, 18 Jul 2013 12:06:17 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/071813+sybrina+fulton+tracy+martin.jpg

The parents of Trayvon Martin spoke publicly for the first time Thursday since a jury found George Zimmerman not guilty in his death.

“I just didn’t understand how can you let the killer of an unarmed child go free. What would your verdict have been if it had been your child?" father Tracy Martin said, while appearing with Sybrina Fulton on NBC's "Today Show."

Fulton said the verdict is a signal to young minority men.

“It is sending a terrible message to other little black and brown boys that you can’t walk fast, you can’t walk slow, so what do they do? I mean how do you get home without people knowing or assuming that you’re doing something wrong," Fulton said. "Trayvon wasn’t doing anything wrong."

Tracy Martin said he believes his son was profiled because he was black.

"Anytime you have a person that makes an assumption that a person is up to no good, there is some type of profiling there," Tracy Martin said. "Was he racially profiled? I think that if Trayvon had been white, this would have never happened."

Fulton and Martin also weighed in on the protests that have taken place across the country in the wake of the verdict.

“The protests should be peaceful protests. We are not saying for them not to protest, because they have a right to protest, they have a right to be heard," Fulton said. "But we just want to make sure that it is peaceful, that nobody gets hurt that nobody gets arrested, that you don’t damage your own property."

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<![CDATA[South Floridians React to George Zimmerman Trial Verdict ]]> Mon, 15 Jul 2013 19:37:09 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/071513+trayvon+martin+gathering+miami.jpg

Across the nation, there was reaction to the George Zimmerman verdict, and over the weekend small rallies were scattered across Miami-Dade and Broward counties.

"Our response to this is to not take matters into our own hands but turn the matter over to God's hands," said Pastor Arthur Jackson III.

The weather did put the damper on the small rallies but it appears that the message from Trayvon Martin's family is resonating.

"In Florida we have to respect the wishes of Trayvon's parent and you know. They plead do not riot, just have an easy manner," said Ken Joseph.

A Saturday rally in southwest Miami was mostly middle-aged participants, not many youngsters. And there might be a reason for that according to a veteran of civil rights demonstrations and now current congresswoman Frederica Wilson.

"I think it was the generation they grew up in they are not keenly aware of the divide like we are. They do not see the issue in the same prism as we do," Wilson said.

"You should see what they are putting on social media. Something we did not have. So we had to go to the streets," Wilson said.

In the streets those who did show up to organize had a consistent message:

"We want the community to know regardless how the verdict turn out we want peace in our community," Johnny Macon said.

A planned 1 p.m. protest on Monday was canceled because a fatal drive-by shooting occurred near the location where people had been expected to gather, the event organizer said.

On Sunday, a day after the verdict that found Zimmerman not guilty, demonstrators marched from the Torch of Friendship to the Freedom Tower in Miami.

Mothers and fathers who attended Sunday's rally said they've had to field tough questions from their children.

"He turned to me and he said, 'Mom what are we going to do now? This system is not just,'" said Sherry Hunt, who said her 11-year-old son cried as he heard the verdict come in.

Keno Walker, 18, says he attended the vigil to vent his frustration in a constructive way.

"It brings up rage and anger because I'm a black youth. Just to see one black youth die, that's crazy. It's like when will it stop?" Walker asked.

Though in the courtroom race was not a focus, some of the tensions felt by the community were evident in the signs they held in downtown Miami Sunday. "Stop discrimination!" one read.

"Part of me felt that this was going to be the verdict. And yet I was very surprised and hurt and very frightened by the result," said Camilo Mejilla.

The verdict is also being supported by some members of the community. The owner of a Pompano Beach gun store believes jurors made the right call.

"I think he was just following somebody late at night, and maybe he should have backed off the confrontation but we don't really know what happened," said Gary Lampert, owner of National Armory. "Nobody knows and I think the jury did the right thing and I think we have to go by their decision."

Though Florida's "Stand Your Ground" law did not play in a role in the Zimmerman trial, it was the focus of some debate across the nation. Local leaders like State Senator Dwight Bullard, who represents the 39th District, want to make changes to that law. He's asking constituents to help by phoning their legislators.

"This isn't about a gun rights issue, this isn't about your Second Amendment rights being violated. It has everything to do with, do you feel safer with it on the books, or without it," Bullard said.
 



Photo Credit: NBC6.com]]>
<![CDATA[Pastor at Martin Mother’s Church Calls for Peace]]> Mon, 15 Jul 2013 08:32:47 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/trayvon+pastor.jpg

The senior pastor at the church where Trayvon Martin's mother Sybrina Fulton is a member urged worshipers to keep the peace following a verdict in the trial of George Zimmerman, found not guilty in the shooting death of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin.

Pastor Arthur Jackson reflected on the verdict during regular Sunday morning services at Antioch Missionary Baptist Church in Miami Gardens.

"It goes without question how disappointed the family of Trayvon Martin is, how disappointed his church family is, how disappointed this community is," Pastor Arthur Jackson said.

He reiterated a call for calm among those who were not happy with the verdict.

"When things happen to us that we don't understand, we don't take matters into our own hands, but we turn the matter over to God," Jackson said.

Although the services were not dedicated to Martin, some churchgoers came in support of the family and expressed their disappointment at the verdict.

"My God, my God. I'm hurt, I'm really hurt," said Sarhonda Clark who sings with Martin's aunt.

Although Martin's mother was not present at the services, his cousins were at the church and they also spread a message of peace.

"That's our justice system in regards to what it's going to be. Be peaceful, the verdict is in and be peaceful about what it is," cousin Milton Felton said. "Conduct yourself accordingly. My heart is heavy. I'm very proud of the Trayvon Martin movement."

His wife Roberta Felton also said she was disappointed and asked that everybody keep the family in their prayers.

"Just remember Trayvon," she said.



Photo Credit: NBC 6 South Florida]]>
<![CDATA[Jury Deliberates in George Zimmerman Trial; Defense Attorney Presents Closing Argument]]> Fri, 12 Jul 2013 20:19:13 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/mark+o%27mara1.jpg

The jury in the George Zimmerman trial began deliberating on Friday afternoon.

Earlier, his attorney Mark O' Mara brought a slab of concrete to court Friday, telling jurors Trayvon Martin used it as a weapon when he slammed Zimmerman's head to the ground.

And the suggestion by the state but that's not the weapon that that can't hurt somebody that that can cause great bodily injury is disgusting," O'Mara said.

Friday morning O'Mara delivered a calculated, closing argument, painting his client as a civically-minded man who had no option but to shoot Trayvon Martin in self-defense. O'Mara emphasized the concept of reasonable doubt.

"You look at all of this evidence and you have to say I have a reasonable doubt as to whether or not the state convinced me he did not act in self-defense that's all you have to do," O'Mara said.
 
On Thursday, prosecutor Bernie de la Rionda used a very different, animated style in presenting his closing argument.

Friday, fellow prosecutor John Guy spent about an hour wrapping up the state's case.
 
"In the end this case is not about standing your ground, it's about staying in your car, like he was taught to do, like he was supposed to do," Guy said.
 
Before starting deliberations, jurors received 27 pages of instructions, some of it simple, like the date of the crime, other pages were filled with legal language, not so easy to digest.
 
Zimmerman is charged with second-degree murder in the February 2012 shooting of Martin, of Miami Gardens. He has pleaded not guilty.

Deliberations resume at 9 a.m. Saturday.
 

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<![CDATA[Prosecutor Presents Closing Argument in George Zimmerman Trial]]> Fri, 12 Jul 2013 19:16:21 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/judge+debra+nelson.jpg

For two hours Thursday, jurors heard the prosecution summarize their case against George Zimmerman.

Assistant State Attorney Bernie de la Rionda delivered a fiery closing argument, emphasizing how he says Zimmerman was in the wrong when he shot and killed 17-year-old Trayvon Martin.

“Why does this defendant get out of the car and he thinks that Trayvon Martin is a threat to him. Why, why? Because he’s got a gun. He's got the equalizer. He's gonna take care of it. He's a wannabe cop,” said de la Rionda.

Zimmerman is charged with second-degree murder in the February 2012 shooting of Martin, of Miami Gardens. He has pleaded not guilty.

Zimmerman says he shot Martin in self-defense. De la Rionda told jurors that's just not true.

“He had to exaggerate what happened. That's why he had to at some point had to say oh, he was threatening me, it was almost like the levels of fear escalated,” de la Rionda said.

Before their closing argument, prosecutors asked the judge to give jurors the option to convict Zimmerman on lesser charges if they did not believe he committed second-degree murder.

Zimmerman’s attorney Don West disagreed.

“The state has charged him with second-degree murder. They should be required to prove it if they can, and if they can't prove it then that is the failing of the prosecution,” West said.

And when prosecutors tried to include a charge of child abuse, based on Martin being a minor, 17 years old, West said: “Oh my god, just when I thought this case couldn’t get any more bizarre the state is seeking third-degree murder based on child abuse?”

Circuit Judge Debra Nelson ultimately decided jurors can consider first-degree manslaughter, in addition to the second-degree murder charge.
 

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<![CDATA[South Florida Authorities Prepare for Verdict in Zimmerman Trial]]> Tue, 09 Jul 2013 22:49:22 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/BSO+logo+2013.jpg

Authorities in South Florida are preparing for the verdict in the George Zimmerman trial and urging people to stay calm and non-violent at the trial's conclusion.

The Broward Sheriff's Office said they've worked with the Sanford Police Department and other local law enforcement agencies to coordinate a response plan in anticipation of the verdict.

On Monday, the BSO released a public service announcement with the help from kids from the Jason Taylor Foundation, H.A.N.D.Y. (Helping Abused, Neglected, Disadvantaged Youth) and Miami Heat star James Jones with the message "raise your voice, not your hands."

"Freedom of expression is a constitutional right. While raising your voice is encouraged, using your hands is not," a statement from the BSO said, adding that the video urges "young people not to let their emotions get the best of them."

Zimmerman is charged with second-degree murder in the February 2012 shooting of Trayvon Martin, 17, of Miami Gardens. He has pleaded not guilty, saying he acted in self-defense.

The trial began last month, and prosecutors questioned 38 witnesses over nine days in presenting their case.

“We don’t have information about a specific event that might take place at the conclusion of the trial, but we encourage everyone to keep any protests peaceful,” Sheriff Scott Israel said in the statement.

The BSO said their Strategic Investigation Division has been monitoring the trial and has been maintaining open lines of communication with community leaders, civic activists, members of the clergy and local, state and federal agencies.

Miami-Dade Police officials said they've had similar conversations with community leaders and other law enforcement agencies, as well as holding internal meetings.

"We're informed, were prepared and were just standing by," Miami-Dade Police spokesman Det. Javier Baez said.



Photo Credit: Broward Sheriff's Office]]>
<![CDATA[Zimmerman's Attorney Continues Cross-Examination of Witness]]> Thu, 27 Jun 2013 21:45:50 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/AP785349374251.jpg

George Zimmerman’s defense attorney continued cross-examination of one of the state’s key witnesses on Thursday inside the Seminole County Courthouse.

Rachel Jeantel, 19, was on the phone with Trayvon Martin just minutes before he died, and defense attorney Don West questioned Jeantel about what she heard during the phone call with Martin.

Prosecutors say it was Zimmerman who followed Martin. Zimmerman is charged with second-degree murder. He has pleaded not guilty, saying he shot Martin in self-defense.

Jeantel answered questions about a letter she wrote to Martin's mother, Sybrina Fulton, and statements she made to the Martin family attorney and to prosecutors, all prior to her testimony on Wednesday.

One focus – what Jeantel heard the person Trayvon Martin told her was following him say to Martin.

Wednesday Jeantel testified she heard "a hard breathed man say what you doing around here.”

“Contrary to what you said at the deposition, this letter does not in fact contain any response that the person gave to Trayvon Martin when he said why are you following me?” said attorney Don West.

“Yes,” said Jeantel.

But Jeantel said she didn’t include that detail in the letter she gave Fulton because she said she thought it would be disrespectful. Jeantel said the handwritten letter was actually written by a friend.

She testified she also met Martin’s mother and didn't share everything she heard during the call.

In her prior testimony, Jeantel stated that after she heard Martin asking a man why he was following him and heard Martin say: "get off – get off."

Jeantel was asked to refer to an interview conducted with prosecutor Bernie de la Rionda.

“According to this transcript that you just saw, when Mr. de la Rionda said could you tell who was saying that, you said I couldn't hear Trayvon – Trayvon,” said West.

“I could hear. Read the next page sir,” she said.

West asked Jeantel about why she didn't contact police after her call with Martin disconnected.

“But you thought it was just a fight because it was one you knew that Trayvon Martin was planning to start,” West said.

“No sir. He would have told me sir – told me to call him back or he'll call me back sir,” Jeantel said.

NBC 6 spoke to Jeantel’s attorney Rod Vereen who said that much of the confusion in the courtroom on Thursday over Jeantel's grammar and dialect in her deposition and interviews with prosecutors prior to the trial was a result of both sides not having her take a second look at what the court reporters put on the official transcripts.

He said the standard process to avoid errors, by reviewing and correcting the statements with her, wasn’t conducted.

He added that she remains distraught over Martin's death and questions if she could have done something to help him.



Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[2nd Round of Potential Juror Questions in Zimmerman Trial]]> Wed, 19 Jun 2013 16:21:45 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/061913+george+zimmerman.jpg

The second round of questioning of potential jurors in the George Zimmerman trial began Wednesday morning.

A pool of 40 potential jurors were in the Seminole County courtroom, which was reconfigured to accommodate them. Those potential jurors went through the initial round of questioning, which began last week and was focused solely on pretrial publicity.

Zimmerman is charged with second-degree murder in the February 2012 shooting of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin. He has pleaded not guilty, saying he acted in self-defense.

The parents of both Zimmerman and Martin were inside the courtroom Wednesday, as was Zimmerman's wife and sister. In an emailed statement, Zimmerman's brother, Robert Zimmerman Jr., said they were there for support.

"Despite safety considerations, the time was right to do what they could to visibly advocate for George's innocence," Robert Zimmerman Jr. said. "Our parents have avoided showing their face on-camera because of numerous death threats directed at our entire family."

He added that the family is caring for his ailing grandmother, which could prevent some family members from attending the court sessions.

"Going forward, security and other concerns are paramount and our periodic absence from court should not be misinterpreted as a withdrawal of support," he wrote. "Our position as a family has been clear & consistent since the night George was attacked: We are all sympathetic to the tragic reality of outliving a son or daughter, however... George acted in self-defense, self-defense should not be criminalized & we stand by George because he told the truth."

Circuit Judge Debra Nelson began by instructing the potential jurors not to talk or communicate with anyone about the case, before she read the formal charge against Zimmerman to them.

"Please understand that this questioning is not for the purpose of prying into your affairs for personal reasons but is only for the purpose of obtaining an impartial jury," Judge Nelson said.

Prosecutor Bernie de la Rionda was the first to question potential jurors Wednesday.

"We are here to seek justice," de la Rionda said, before reiterating that the case should be tried inside the courtroom.

"Whatever you read or saw outside this courtroom cannot, I want to stress that again, cannot factor in any way in your decision," de la Rionda said. "What you saw on TV or on the Internet or read by virtue of what the media said is completely irrelevant."

The jury that will eventually be selected to hear the case will be sequestered for the duration of the trial, Judge Nelson said last week.
 

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<![CDATA[Pool of 40 Potential Jurors Reached in Zimmerman Trial]]> Wed, 19 Jun 2013 09:03:51 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/061813+george+zimmerman.jpg

A pool of 40 potential jurors has been reached in the George Zimmerman trial, Circuit Judge Debra Nelson announced in court Tuesday.

Those potential jurors went through the initial round of questioning, which was focused solely on pretrial publicity.

Zimmerman is charged with second-degree murder in the February 2012 shooting of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin. He has pleaded not guilty, saying he acted in self-defense.
 
Tuesday was the seventh day of jury selection. Five hundred people were summoned overall for the case as defense attorneys and prosecutors worked to build the pool of potential jurors.
 
On Monday, Judge Nelson granted a defense motion to extend the timeline for securing the anonymity of jurors in the trial.
 
Judge Nelson did not say for how long anonymity would be extended to jurors. She previously ruled that jurors’ names would be kept anonymous until after a jury reaches a verdict.
 
Judge Nelson said Monday that she would consider the length of the extension after the verdict is reached. Defense attorney Mark O’Mara has asked for a six-month extension.
 
The jury that will eventually be selected to hear the case will be sequestered for the duration of the trial, Judge Nelson said last week.

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<![CDATA[Jury Selection Continues in Zimmerman Trial]]> Sat, 15 Jun 2013 01:11:15 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/061413+george+zimmerman.jpg

At least 28 potential jurors in the George Zimmerman trial had gone through the initial round of questioning as of Friday evening.

The one-on-one interviews were solely focused on the topic of pre-trial publicity.

On Friday, Circuit Judge Debra Nelson told several groups of potential jurors to come back next week for more questioning.

Judge Nelson told them not to discuss or research the case before they return to the Seminole County courthouse in Sanford next week.

"You are not to read or listen to any radio, television or newspaper reports about this case," Judge Nelson said during the fifth day of jury selection.

Judge Nelson also warned potential jurors from researching the case on the Internet or reading about it in emails, text messages or social networking sites.

"You are not to discuss the case amongst yourselves nor with anybody else. Being away and mixing with friends and family and maybe co-workers, from now until Tuesday morning, they're gonna be very curious and they're gonna want to ask you some questions," Judge Nelson said. "My instruction to you is that you should tell them that you are potentially on this jury and you are not to have any conversation with them whatsoever."

Zimmerman is charged with second-degree murder in the shooting of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin in February 2012. He has pleaded not guilty, saying it was self-defense.

On Thursday, Judge Nelson said in court that the jury will be sequestered. She added that attorneys anticipate the trial to last between two and four weeks.

Five hundred people have been summoned for consideration as possible jurors. Attorneys are working to build a pool of 40 potential jurors before another round of questioning.

After the trial went into recess Friday afternoon, Zimmerman’s defense attorney Mark O'Mara talked to the media.

“I know a lot of people had some concerns about whether or not we’d actually be able to pick a jury here in Seminole County. And I know I was one of the ones who kept saying I thought we would, because we’ve never failed to pick a jury in Seminole County in the past, even in some high-profile cases, so I’m real happy that it looks like we’re going to get Seminole County jurors to decide a Seminole County case,” O’Mara said.

O'Mara also answered questions from reporters, telling them that he hopes that panel jury selection can begin by Tuesday or Wednesday. He also said he believed that jurors would be chosen by the middle of next week or sometime next week.

Sanford criminal defense attorney Thomas Greene said potential jurors sitting and waiting at the courthouse, can bring on fatigue.

“Sending them home I think is a good idea for the jurors, may not be such a good idea for the attorneys because they're obviously concerned about what they're hearing, they're seeing and what they're talking about,” Greene said.

Green said it may be more difficult than ever to avoid any information about the case.

“With social media it is just incredible, people are so wired into all of that, they can't put their phones down, they can't not watch TV, it's almost an addiction to a lot of people,” he said.

Judge Nelson said the case would resume Monday morning.

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<![CDATA[Fourth Day of Jury Selection in Zimmerman Trial]]> Thu, 13 Jun 2013 21:07:05 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/061313+george+zimmerman.jpg

The jury that will eventually be selected to hear the George Zimmerman case will be sequestered for the duration of the trial, the judge said Thursday.

The announcement from Circuit Judge Debra Nelson was made during the fourth day of questioning of potential jurors in the trial at the Seminole County courthouse in Sanford Thursday.

"Juror K-80, before Mr. West goes ahead and does his questioning of you, this is for your benefit and for the benefit of the future potential jurors that the parties have, both sides have stipulated that they anticipate that this trial will last between 2 and 4 weeks. Based upon that approximate stipulation, I will be sequestering the jury. Mr. West, you can now inquire of K-80," the judge said.

Five hundred people have been summoned for consideration as possible jurors. On Thursday, 10 potential jurors were dismissed for various reasons.

Zimmerman is charged with second-degree murder in the shooting of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin in February 2012. He has pleaded not guilty, saying it was self-defense.

Shellie Zimmerman, George Zimmerman's wife, was in the courtroom during the Thursday morning session, as were Trayvon Martin's parents.

On Thursday, the public seating area was about 25 percent full. The case is expected to last more than a month.

Longtime Sanford resident Myra Hall has watched the proceedings from the public seating area since the beginning.

“I just want to be there. I want to be able to say I am a witness, I’m there, I heard it all, I've seen it all, I heard the whole story, I'm getting all the testaments from this person, that one,” she said.

Also Thursday, there was a lighthearted moment, when a prospective juror commented on Zimmerman's appearance.

“Can you describe for me the photos of George Zimmerman that you remember seeing?" said defense attorney Mark O’Mara.

“He was a little less in weight, a little smaller man at the time,” said the potential juror.

The comment prompted a smile and a chuckle from Zimmerman.

Judge Nelson has ruled that the identities of potential jurors will be kept confidential but potential jurors won't be sequestered, as defense attorneys requested. Potential jurors are only being referred to by their jury numbers in court.

Jury candidates who move on from the initial round of questioning about their knowledge of the case will face additional rounds of interviews with the attorneys.

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<![CDATA[2nd Day of Jury Selection in Zimmerman Trial]]> Thu, 13 Jun 2013 18:31:59 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/061113+george+zimmerman+in+court.jpg

A total of 71 people have been dismissed so far as possible jury candidates in the George Zimmerman murder trial.

Tuesday was day two of jury selection, with lawyers conducting one-on-one interviews with candidates.

Zimmerman is charged with second-degree murder in the shooting of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin in February 2012. He has pleaded not guilty, saying it was self-defense.

Circuit Judge Debra Nelson is presiding over the case, which is expected to last more than a month.

Everyone who was interviewed had heard something about the story of Zimmerman and Martin.

"It was two people being in the wrong place at the wrong time and two people instigating something that probably could have been avoided," said one juror candidate.

"And there was like a struggle and the gun went off and then the young man died and Zimmerman was injured through the struggle," said another.

This portion of jury selection is specifically focused on pretrial publicity, and how much potential jurors have seen, heard or read.

Attorneys from both sides asked a lot about the news.

“Based on the questionnaire you filled out you have some information you have gleaned from the media is that correct?” asked Assistant State Attorney Bernie de la Rionda.

“Yes sir that it is correct,” the potential juror said.

“And would that have been from local and national or just local?” de la Rionda asked.

“Just local,” said the potential juror.

“OK,” de la Rionda replied.

Mark O'Mara, Zimmerman's attorney, asked another juror candidate: “Your default national program is the Today show?”

“Yes sir,” the person replied.

“Did you say you saw something about this case on the Today show?” asked O’Mara.

“At the very beginning when it happened,” said the potential juror.

Jury selection can be a tedious process, but critically important legal experts say, as the people chosen is often where a trial is won or lost.

Nelson has ruled that the identities of potential jurors will be kept confidential but potential jurors won't be sequestered, as defense attorneys requested.

Potential jurors are only being referred to by their jury numbers in court.

George Zimmerman has sued NBCUniversal, the parent company of this site, for defamation. The company has strongly denied his allegations.

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<![CDATA[Zimmerman Hearing Resumes in Sanford Friday]]> Fri, 07 Jun 2013 18:08:50 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/060713+george+zimmerman+hearing.jpg

Prosecutors and defense attorneys in the George Zimmerman case returned to a Sanford courtroom to continue a hearing Friday, three days before his trial is scheduled to begin.

The hearing before Circuit Judge Debra Nelson began shortly before 9:30 a.m. with prosecutors calling voice recognition expert Tom Owen to testify at the hearing, which will determine whether Owen and other voice experts can testify at the trial.
 
Zimmerman is charged with second-degree murder in the shooting of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin in February 2012. He has pleaded not guilty, claiming self-defense. His trial is set to begin Monday.

FBI voice expert Hirotaka Nakasone testified during Thursday's hearing. Nelson hasn’t ruled yet whether she’ll accept his testimony.

Earlier Thursday, Nelson denied a defense request to let some witnesses testify confidentially at the trial.
 
The judge also heard testimony after defense attorneys asked her to sanction prosecutors for alleged delays in turning over evidence from Martin’s phone. But she decided to suspend the hearing on that matter until after the trial, saying she was concerned that if it continued, the trial wouldn’t start on time.

George Zimmerman has sued NBCUniversal, the parent company of this site, for defamation. The company has strongly denied his allegations.

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<![CDATA[Judge Denies George Zimmerman's Motion to Delay Trial]]> Wed, 06 Feb 2013 00:32:56 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/George-Zimmerman-February-5-2013.jpg Judge Debra Nelson denied a request by George Zimmerman's defense attorneys to delay the trial until November. Nelson said the trial will begin on June 10. Defense attorney Mark O'Mara and prosecutor Bernie de la Rionda spoke about the case. Outside the courtroom, supporters of Trayvon Martin, including Martin family attorney Natalie Jackson, remembered the Miami Gardens teen on what would have been his 18th birthday.

Photo Credit: NBC 6 South Florida]]>
<![CDATA[Nonviolence Campaign Launched Before Zimmerman Trial]]> Tue, 04 Dec 2012 20:10:03 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/Miami-Dade-County-Commissioner-Barbara-Jordan.jpg

At least six months ahead of George Zimmerman's murder trial, the Miami-Dade County Youth Commission is preparing to promote nonviolence, mainly through schools, churches and police departments.

"Some schools have held demonstrations and walkouts and that's great, that's the path we want to continue on instead of fights breaking out, that's hopefully want we don't want to happen,” Miami-Dade County Youth Commissioner Natalia Gonzalez said.

The highly sensitive case prompted the county's community relations board to create a plan to calm tensions before, during and after the trial of Zimmerman, 29, which is scheduled for June. He shot and killed Trayvon Martin, 17, of Miami Gardens in Sanford in February. Zimmerman claims the shooting was in self-defense and has pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder.

The community relations board’s chair, Dr. Walter T. Richardson, presented its nonviolence campaign to the Miami-Dade Board of County Commissioners early Tuesday.

Richardson said there will be people who will be disappointed however the trial turns out, and there are people who support Zimmerman.

”And then there are people, a large majority of people, from what I'm hearing, that will be affected if the trial goes the other way and he's found not guilty. And so either way we need to make sure our citizens are informed,” Richardson said.

Youth leaders will rely heavily on social media to post updates on the trial and plan to host a student summit next month.

"We're not here because we believe there's going to be violence. We believe there's not going to be violence,” said Edward Shohat, a member of the community relations board. “We are here to foster nonviolence in response to whatever happens in the Trayvon Martin case."

Martin’s uncle was encouraged by the county's mission.

"I like the idea of us taking a proactive approach and instead of a reactive approach,” Ronald Fulton said.

Trayvon Martin Shooting Complete Coverage



Photo Credit: Betty Yu/NBC 6 South Florida]]>
<![CDATA[Nonviolence Campaign Launched Before Zimmerman Trial]]> Tue, 04 Dec 2012 20:10:14 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/Natalia-Gonzalez.jpg At least six months ahead of George Zimmerman's murder trial, the Miami-Dade County Youth Commission is preparing to promote nonviolence. The chair of Miami-Dade's community relations board, Dr. Walter T. Richardson, presented its nonviolence campaign to county commissioners Tuesday. Board member Edward Shohat, Youth Commissioner Natalia Gonzalez and Trayvon Martin's uncle, Ronald Fulton, spoke about the issue.

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<![CDATA[Hearing Set for Request of Martin's Records]]> Mon, 08 Oct 2012 20:40:16 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/zimmermangrab.jpg

Attorneys for George Zimmerman will be back in court this month to request subpoenas be issued for the school, phone and social media records of Trayvon Martin.

The hearing has been set for Oct. 19, according to a posting on Zimmerman's attorneys' website Sunday.

Last month, Zimmerman's attorneys sent subpoenas to the Miami area schools attended by the 17-year-old, including Norland Middle School, Miami Carol City High School, Dr. Michael M. Krop Senior High and Miami-Dade County Public Schools.

Zimmerman's Attorneys Want Martin's School Records

They've also issued subpoenas for potentially relevant data from social media platforms, including Twitter and Facebook.

Zimmerman is charged with second-degree murder for fatally shooting Martin during a confrontation in a gated community in Sanford last February. Zimmerman is pleading not guilty, claiming self-defense.

"Trayvon’s parents maintain that his school records and Facebook page are completely irrelevant to George Zimmerman’s decision to get out of his car to profile, pursue, and shoot their son in the heart on February 26, 2012," Martin family attorney Benjamin Crump said in a statement Monday night. "How does George Zimmerman’s review of Trayvon Martin’s high school and middle school records and Facebook page bear any relevance to Zimmerman’s decision to pull the trigger and kill a 17-year-old child?"

In other documents posted Sunday, Zimmerman's attorneys filed a motion to request review of recordings of the witness identified as Witness 9. The attorneys also filed a motion for continuance in the case, saying there is a "large amount of discovery yet to be completed."

Complete Trayvon Martin Shooting Coverage



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