Zimmerman Jury Recesses For The Day Without A Verdict

By: CBS News (Posted by Melissa Brunner)
By: CBS News (Posted by Melissa Brunner)

(CBS) SANFORD, Fla. - A jury has recessed for the day without reaching a verdict in the case of George Zimmerman, the former neighborhood watch volunteer charged in the shooting death of Florida teen Trayvon Martin.

The jurors were set to return Saturday morning at 9 a.m. to resume deliberations.

The jury, which consists of a panel of six women, is weighing a second-degree murder charge against the 29-year-old, who shot Martin during a confrontation last year in a gated Sanford, Fla. community. Zimmerman is pleading not guilty, claiming he shot Martin in self defense.

The panel of six women, which has been sequestered as the proceedings stretched into the end of their third week, will also weigh a lesser charge of manslaughter.

Jurors began deliberating around 2:30 p.m. and recessed for the day around 6 p.m. Shortly before 4:45 p.m., about two hours into deliberations, the panel requested an inventory list of the evidence in the case.

Zimmerman's parents and wife and the family of Trayvon Martin were in the courtroom as the judge read jury instructions before the jury was sent back to weigh Zimmerman's fate.

Circuit Judge Debra Nelson told jurors Zimmerman has a presumption of innocence and that the state has the burden of proving their case beyond a reasonable doubt. In considering whether Zimmerman acted in self-defense, jurors must consider the circumstances Zimmerman faced at the time of the shooting, and whether he had reason to be in fear for his life, Nelson said.

Throughout the trial, conflicting testimony has been presented in regards to who was yelling for help on a 911 call that recorded the fatal shooting. While prosecutors say Zimmerman was a "wannabe cop" who took the law into his own hands, the defense argues that he was fighting for his life and acted in self-defense.


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