SANFORD, Fla. (AP) — A prosecutor is telling jurors at the George Zimmerman trial that Zimmerman profiled 17-year-old Trayvon Martin, assuming he was up to no good -- and that it led to the shooting death of the teenager.
In closing arguments, prosecutor Bernie de la Rionda told jurors in Sanford, Fla., "A teenager is dead. He is dead through no fault of his own." He said Martin was killed "because a man made assumptions" -- and "because his assumptions were wrong."
He told the jury that Zimmerman wanted to be a police officer, and that's why he followed Martin through his neighborhood even though the teen wasn't doing anything wrong. The prosecutor said, "He assumed Trayvon Martin was a criminal. That is why we are here."
Closing arguments began after the judge ruled that jurors can consider the lesser charge of manslaughter, in addition to second-degree murder. But she denied a request for the jury to also consider third-degree murder, after a defense attorney called the proposal "outrageous."
181-v-29-(Warren Levinson, AP correspondent)--Jurors will have some options when they consider murder charges against neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman in Florida. AP correspondent Warren Levinson reports. (11 Jul 2013)
<<CUT *181 (07/11/13)££ 00:29
182-a-13-(Judge Debra Nelson, in legal arguments)-"give that instruction"-Judge Debra Nelson says third-degree felony murder is not appropriate as a lesser charge. (11 Jul 2013)
<<CUT *182 (07/11/13)££ 00:13 "give that instruction"
158-a-05-(Don West, defense attorney, in legal arguments)-"if they can"-Defense attorney Don West says lesser charges should not be added to the jury instructions. (11 Jul 2013)
<<CUT *158 (07/11/13)££ 00:05 "if they can"
GRAPHICSBANK: GEORGE ZIMMERMAN headshot, neighborhood watch captain who shot unarmed teenager Trayvon Martin, in Seminole circuit court during his murder trial, Sanford, Florida, on texture, finished graphic (10 Jul 2013)
APPHOTO FLJR210: George Zimmerman stands for instructions from Judge Debra Nelson with attorney Lorna Truett, left, and Don West, center, during his trial in Seminole circuit court in Sanford, Fla. Thursday, July 11, 2013. Zimmerman has been charged with second-degree murder for the 2012 shooting death of Trayvon Martin. (AP Photo/Orlando Sentinel, Gary W. Green, Pool) (11 Jul 2013)
<<APPHOTO FLJR210 (07/11/13)££