Trayvon Martin Case: George Zimmerman Charged With Second-Degree Murder

George Zimmerman, a neighborhood watch volunteer who says he was acting in self-defense when he fatally shot teenager Trayvon Martin in Sanford, Florida, has been charged with murder in the second degree, special prosecutor Angela Corey told reporters Wednesday.

Corey said that Zimmerman has surrendered to authorities in Florida and has been arrested. The charge carries a maximum possible sentence of life in prison.

Police say Zimmerman fatally shot Martin, a 17-year-old African-American, on February 26 in Sanford, Florida, after Martin began walking home from a convenience store. Zimmerman, who is Hispanic and was a neighborhood watch volunteer, had called 911 to complain about a suspicious person in the neighborhood. He was released without charges after claiming self-defense, but the case was referred to Corey for a review as thousands converged on Sanford to join in protests calling for Zimmerman’s arrest.


Zimmerman’s new attorney, Mark O’Mara, said that he expects to file a motion seeking bond for Zimmerman on Thursday. Currently, Zimmerman is being held without opportunity for bond.

O’Mara told CNN by phone that he thinks Zimmerman is “troubled by the fact that the state decided to charge him,” but that he “understands what is in front of him,” and he’s “doing OK.”

“He’s concerned about getting a fair trial and a fair presentation,” O’Mara said. “There’s obviously been a lot of information flowing. I think a lot of it has been premature and inappropriate… The worst thing that can happen in this case is that it doesn’t get tried properly. Give us our chance to do it the way it’s supposed to be done.”

Source: CNN

Image: KHQ

Missouri Teen Gets Life Sentence for Killing 9-year-old

A Missouri teenager who had described the slaying of a young neighbor girl as an “ahmazing” thrill made an emotional apology Wednesday to the girl’s family and was sentenced to a potential lifetime in prison.

Moments before her sentence was imposed, 18-year-old Alyssa Bustamante rose from her chair — with shackles linking her ankles and holding her hands to her waist — and turned to face the family of 9-year-old Elizabeth Olten, whom she confessed to killing in October 2009.

She said: “If I could give my life to get her back I would. I’m sorry.”

Elizabeth’s mother, Patty Preiss, who on the first day of Bustamante’s sentencing hearing called her an “evil monster” and declared “I hate her,” sat silently, staring forward as Bustamante’s finished her apology.


Cole County Circuit Judge Pat Joyce then sentenced Bustamante to the maximum possible sentence for second-degree murder — life in prison with the possibility of parole. She ordered the teenager to serve a consecutive 30-year term for armed criminal action, a charge resulting from her use of a knife to slit the throat and stab Elizabeth after she had strangled her into unconsciousness.

Elizabeth’s family declined to comment about the sentencing, as did Bustamante’s family. There were no immediate indications that Bustamante planned to appeal the sentence.

Bustamante originally had been charged with first-degree murder but pleaded guilty last month to the lesser charges to avoid a trial and the possibility of spending her life in an adult prison with no chance of release.

Source: Yahoo News

Image: USA Today