Zimmerman Prosecutors Wrap Up: He's a Murderer

Defense team takes its turn tomorrow, and then jury gets case

By John Johnson,  Newser Staff

Posted Jul 11, 2013 4:13 PM CDT

(Newser) – The prosecution finished its closing arguments today against George Zimmerman, with prosecutor Bernie de la Rionda arguing that the "wannabe cop" deserves prison because he wrongly profiled Trayvon Martin as a criminal and then took the law into his own hands. A key quote from the Orlando Sentinel:

  • "A teenager is dead because a man made certain assumptions ... and because his assumptions were wrong, Trayvon Benjamin Martin no longer walks on this earth."

The defense will get its turn tomorrow morning, and the jury is expected to begin deliberations in the afternoon, reports CNN. Even with the closing arguments getting underway, today's big news remains the judge's decision to allow the jury to consider lesser charges of manslaughter along with those of second-degree murder, either of which could bring life in prison. The AP explains the difference on the murder and manslaughter charges thusly:

  • "To win a second-degree murder conviction, prosecutors must prove Zimmerman showed ill will, hatred, or spite—a burden the defense has argued the state failed to meet. To get a manslaughter conviction, prosecutors must show only that Zimmerman killed without lawful justification."

Assistant state attorney Bernie de la Rionda shows a picture of a bloodied George Zimmerman to the jury.   (AP Photo/Orlando Sentinel, Gary W. Green, Pool)
George Zimmerman arrives in court Thursday.   (AP Photo/Orlando Sentinel, Gary W. Green, Pool)
Assistant state attorney Bernie de la Rionda holds up evidence to the jury.   (AP Photo/Orlando Sentinel, Gary W. Green, Pool)
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