*After 14 days of witness testimony and arguments on both sides, the fate of George Zimmerman now rests with six women.
These jurors began their deliberations around 2:30 p.m. Friday, after Judge Debra Nelson read a lengthy list of instructions. They have three options: convict Zimmerman of second-degree murder in Trayvon Martin’s death, convict him of manslaughter or find him not guilty. The judge approved the manslaughter option on Thursday, over the defense’s vehement objection.
“All of us are depending on you to make a wise and legal decision,” Nelson told the jurors.
Both sides in the George Zimmerman trial presented impassioned pleas during closing arguments Friday, with defense attorney Mark O’Mara remaining silent for four minutes to illustrate what he called a key gap in the State’s case, and prosecutor John Guy repeatedly referring to Trayvon Martin as a “child” and Zimmerman as a “grown man” to illustrate the age difference between the two.
Delivering the rebuttal closing argument after a nearly three-hour speech by O’Mara, the prosecution’s John Guy focused on what was going on in the minds — and hearts — of Zimmerman and Trayvon that fateful night in Sanford, Florida.
“What was in Trayvon Martin’s heart? Was it not fear? Was that child not in fear when he was running from that defendant? Isn’t that every child’s worst nightmare? To be followed on the way home in the dark, by a stranger? Isn’t that every child’s worst fear? That was Trayvon Martin’s last emotion,” Guy said.
Guy urged jurors to use their “common sense” to piece together the facts in the case.
“I’m asking you to use your common sense, use your heart, use what you know is real,” said Guy.
He also said the case was not about race but about “right and wrong.” Guy asked jurors to reverse the roles and imagine Zimmerman walking home in the rain with a hoodie and imagine Martin with “hate in his heart” driving around in the car.
“If it was Trayvon Martin who had shot and killed George Zimmerman, what would your verdict be? That’s how you know, it’s not about race. To the living, we owe respect, but to the dead, we owe the truth.”
He also reiterated the argument he made in opening statements: “The defendant didn’t shoot Trayvon Martin because he had to, he shot him because he wanted to. That’s the bottom line.”