No grand jury for Travyon Martin case; Zimmerman unlikely to be charged with first degree murder | News

Florida State Attorney Angela Corey has decided against using a grand jury to charge George Zimmerman with first-degree murder in connection with the February shooting death of unarmed 17-year-old Trayvon Martin.

A statement released yesterday by the State Attorney’s office claims the decision not to call a grand jury was made because one is “not needed” and that the decision “should not be considered a factor” in determining whether Zimmerman will be prosecuted in Martin’s death.

The Orlando Sentinel reports that Sanford police classified the case as a “possible manslaughter” before turning the it over to prosecutors, a charge that carries a maximum sentence of 30 years since Martin was not yet an adult. The choice not to use a grand jury means Zimmerman will not be charged with first-degree murder since such a charge can only be levied via grand jury indictment.

Martin family attorney Benjamin Crump said that, despite the State Attorney’s grand jury decision, the family still remains “hopeful that a decision will be reached very soon to arrest George Zimmerman” and that they were not surprised by the announcement.

Sunday (April 8) marks six weeks since the shooting and Zimmerman is yet to be charged with any crime. While in hiding, Zimmerman has launched a personal website in attempts to raise money for living expenses, legal defence and support as a result of the “life-altering event” he says has “led me to become the subject of intense media coverage.”

The Martin family has established the Justice for Trayvon Martin Foundation to raise funds “to support awareness of civil rights, social justice and the quality of life for young black men.”