Closing Arguments to Begin in George Zimmerman Murder Trial
Gary W. Green-Pool/Getty Images(SANFORD, Fla.) — Closing arguments are set to begin Thursday in the George Zimmerman murder trial. The jury could get the case as early as Friday.
Zimmerman, 29, is charged with second degree murder for shooting Trayvon Martin, 17, on Feb. 26, 2012.
Zimmerman maintains that he shot Martin in self-defense. If convicted of second degree murder, Zimmerman could be sentenced to 25 years to life.
On Wednesday, the defense rested its case. Zimmerman told Judge Debra Nelson that after consulting with his lawyers, he decided not to testify.
Earlier that day, Nelson ruled that text messages taken from Martin’s phone and an animation commissioned by the defense purporting to show the fight between Martin and Zimmerman cannot be entered as evidence. However, the judge ruled that the defense can use the animation as a “demonstrative exhibit” in its closing.
The motion-capture animation was a snapshot of what the defense said happened the night Martin died. The animation shows Martin walking up to Zimmerman and punching him in the face, as well as Martin straddling and punching Zimmerman. It was built using Zimmerman’s account of what happened and estimations made by witnesses who called 911 about the confrontation the night Martin died.
The text messages will be barred altogether. The messages, taken from Martin’s phone, include one in which a female friend told Martin that he should stop fighting.
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