Zimmerman not guilty in death of Trayvon Martin

(CNN) — Nearly a year and a half after Trayvon Martin was shot dead in a central Florida neighborhood, a jury found the man who killed him — George Zimmerman, who argued that he fired in self defense — not guilty.

The fact that Zimmerman fired the bullet that killed Martin was never in question, but the verdict means the six-person jury had reasonable doubt that the shooting amounted to a criminal act.

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George Zimmerman hears the verdict Saturday night. (CNN)

The verdict caps a case that has inflamed passions for well over a year, much of it focused on race and gun rights.

The jurors deliberated for 16½ hours total, including 13 on Saturday alone, before delivering their verdict. Five of the women are white, one is a minority.

When he learned his fate, a quiet Zimmerman had little visible reaction. His face was mostly expressionless. He turned and shook the hand of one of his attorneys before sitting back down, only openly smiling after court was adjourned. His parents, Robert and Gladys Zimmerman, were seated nearby, but Martin’s parents were not in the courtroom.

Defense attorney Mark O’Mara said a short time later that he and his team were “ecstatic” with the verdict.

“George Zimmerman was never guilty of anything except protecting himself in self defense,” O’Mara said.

Trayvon Martin’s father, Tracy Martin, took to Twitter to thank those who have supported his family and vowed they will continue to fight.

“Even though I am broken hearted my faith is unshattered I WILL ALWAYS LOVE MY BABY TRAY,” he tweeted.

MORE AT PIX PARTNER CNN.COM

Deliberations begin in George Zimmerman trial

9 comments

  • Keisha

    When is black people gonna get a fear day in court. The evidence was there that man murder that boy and gets off its not fear.

  • Mike

    The prosecution made Zimmerman's case for him. Anyone who couldn't see the reasonable doubt by the end of the prosecution's case wasn't paying attention.

  • Sheena

    That is not right that he got off for killing a unarm black teenager. If the shoe was on the our foot he it would be guilty

    • Mike

      An unarmed person is capable of using deadly force, so the fact that TM was unarmed was not enough to find GZ guilty.

  • anonymous

    What in the world there was so much evidence against Zimmerman and they let Him walk free he took a innocent life because travon was black and he had a hoodie on ether cops told him to leave it alone and he took n matters into his own hands if he was afraid fur his life hr would’ve stayed in his car and went home travon was a innocent kid with only a Arizona and skittles..the jury should’ve opened there eyes wider to realize Zimmerman took a life not in self defense but because travon was black and thought automatically that he was up to no good

  • Mike

    There was no evidence. There were no witnesses. There was no case. Zimmerman should have stayed in his car, and Martin should have kept on walking. Both men should have made better descisions, but they didn't. Things like this happen all the time. Why are none of the Chicago killings on tv? Because reverand al sold it to he media. The police found no hard evidence to bring charges. But they were pushed to do it. Then what? The jury decided the same damn thing.

  • truth

    I can not believe people still see this teenager as being an innocent victim with all the evidence that's been shown. I do not agree Travon Martin should have been shot and killed but the fact is, he was attacking a man who could not defend himself with his own bare hands. It's unfortunate, GZ had to have shot TM, I wouldn't have shot him but that's all GZ could have done. What would you do if a suspicious guy whether he's black, white or even hispanic walking with a hood on his head on hot night trying to be discreet?
    All I can say is, I wasn't there and neither were you.
    It didn't matter Travon was black, teenagers are still committing petty crimes. We can not always assume all teenagers are innocent.

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