Zimmerman Trial Update: Judge Ups Zimmerman’s Charges to Manslaughter


Judge Debra Nelson ruled Thursday that George Zimmerman will be charged with manslaughter in addition to the second-degree murder charge he is already facing for killing Trayvon Martin.

Nelson has not decided yet as to whether or not Zimmerman will also face the other lesser included charge of third-degree felony murder.

Prosecutor Rich Mantei said they decided to not pursue the lesser charge of aggravated assault.

Zimmerman is accused of killing Martin in Sanford, Florida, on February 26, 2012. Martin was walking through Zimmerman’s neighborhood that night when Zimmerman saw him and told police that he looked suspicious. The two got into a physical fight, and Zimmerman said he was forced to draw his gun and shoot Martin in self-defense.

Attorneys will also hash out the final jury instructions Thursday morning before closing arguments begin at 1:00 p.m.

Bernie De La Rionda will go first, giving the closing argument for the prosecution. O’Mara is scheduled to give the closing argument for the defense Friday morning, and John Guy will give the prosecution’s final rebuttal argument before the jury begins to deliberate Friday afternoon.

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