Prosecutor: Zimmerman killed teen 'because he wanted to'

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Posted: Monday, June 24, 2013 2:31 pm | Updated: 6:17 pm, Wed Aug 21, 2013.

SANFORD, Fla. (AP) — A Florida prosecutor is hoping that George Zimmerman's own words will show that he's guilty of second-degree murder in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin.

Prosecutor John Guy began his opening statement today by repeating the words that Zimmerman was heard using to a police dispatcher as he followed Trayvon Martin through the gated community where Zimmerman lived. Using an expletive, Zimmerman refered to "punks" who "always get away."

Guy told jurors that Zimmerman saw Martin as "someone about to commit a crime." And, he added, Zimmerman "acted on it." The prosecutor said, "That's why we're here." He said Zimmerman didn't have to shoot Martin -- but did so "for the worst of all reasons: because he wanted to."

A judge had ruled earlier that prosecutors could tell the jury that Zimmerman had "profiled" Martin -- but that they couldn't say the profiling was based on race.

Defense lawyer Don West told a different story. He said Zimmerman was being viciously attacked when he shot the 17-year-old. According to West, Zimmerman was sucker-punched by Martin, who then pounded Zimmerman's head into the concrete sidewalk.

West added that Martin had the chance to go home -- but instead confronted Zimmerman.

Zimmerman is pleading not guilty, claiming self-defense. If he's convicted, he faces a maximum sentence of life in prison.

%@AP Links

224-w-29-(Warren Levinson, AP correspondent, with Don West, defense attorney and John Guy, prosecutor)--A six-member jury has begun hearing the highly charged second-degree murder case in the killing of Trayvon Martin last year in Florida. AP correspondent Warren Levinson reports. (24 Jun 2013)

<<CUT *224 (06/24/13)££ 00:29

223-a-07-(Don West, defense attorney, in opening statement)-"no monsters here"-Defense attorney Don West says the shooting of Trayvon Martin shouldn't have happened. (24 Jun 2013)

<<CUT *223 (06/24/13)££ 00:07 "no monsters here"

222-a-16-(Don West, defense attorney, in opening statement)-"rung, stuff happens"-Defense attorney Don West says George Zimmerman was badly beaten in his confrontation with Trayvon Martin. (24 Jun 2013)

<<CUT *222 (06/24/13)££ 00:16 "rung, stuff happens"

181-a-20-(John Guy, assistant state attorney, in opening statement)-"the screaming stops"-Prosecutor John Guy tells the jury to listen closely when it hears a 911 call of the Trayvon Martin shooting that has someone screaming for help. (24 Jun 2013)

<<CUT *181 (06/24/13)££ 00:20 "the screaming stops"

189-a-09-(John Guy, assistant state attorney, in opening statement)-"he wanted to"-Prosecutor John Guy says the state will prove the killing of Trayvon Martin was murder, not self-defense. (24 Jun 2013)

<<CUT *189 (06/24/13)££ 00:09 "he wanted to"

GRAPHICSBANK: George Zimmerman headshot, neighborhood watch captain on trial for shooting Trayvon Martin, sits at the defense table, Seminole circuit court, Sanford, Florida, graphic element on gray (24 Jun 2013)

APPHOTO FLJR215: Don West, a defense attorney for George Zimmerman, displays a photo of his client from the night of the shooting of Trayvon Martin, to the jury during opening statements in Zimmerman's trial, in Seminole circuit court, in Sanford, Fla., Monday, June 24, 2013. Zimmerman has been charged with second-degree murder for the 2012 shooting death of Trayvon Martin. (AP Photo/Orlando Sentinel, Joe Burbank, Pool) (24 Jun 2013)

<<APPHOTO FLJR215 (06/24/13)££

APPHOTO FLJR213: Trayvon Martin's mother, Sybrina Fulton, left, cries as she listens to the description of her son's death during opening statements in the George Zimmerman trial, with Trayvon's father, Tracy Martin, right, in Seminole circuit court, in Sanford, Fla., Monday, June 24, 2013. Zimmerman has been charged with second-degree murder for the 2012 shooting death of Trayvon Martin. (AP Photo/Orlando Sentinel, Joe Burbank, Pool) (24 Jun 2013)

<<APPHOTO FLJR213 (06/24/13)££

APPHOTO FLJR209: George Zimmerman stands as judge Debra Nelson arrives in Seminole circuit court for his trial, in Sanford, Fla., Monday, June 24, 2013. Zimmerman has been charged with second-degree murder for the 2012 shooting death of Trayvon Martin. (AP Photo/Orlando Sentinel, Joe Burbank, Pool) (24 Jun 2013)

<<APPHOTO FLJR209 (06/24/13)££

© 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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