Special prosecutor will not use grand jury in Trayvon Martin investigation
April 9th, 2012
11:46 AM ET

Special prosecutor will not use grand jury in Trayvon Martin investigation

[Updated at 12:11 p.m. ET] State Attorney Angela Corey, appointed as a special prosecutor in the February shooting death of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin, has decided against sending the case to a grand jury, her office said Monday.

"The decision should not be considered a factor in the final determination of the case," Corey's office said in a statement.

The grand jury, set to convene on Tuesday, was previously scheduled by the former prosecutor.

Corey previously said she has not used grand jury's in cases like this and added that from the time she was appointed she said she may not need a grand jury.

The decision about whether or not to charge George Zimmerman in the case now rests with prosecutors.

"At this time, the investigation continues and there will be no further comment from this office," in the statement.

The decision means that the timetable for any possible charges remains up in the air.

"We had hoped she had enough evidence without the need to convene a grand jury,” Ben Crump, the attorney for the Martin family said about Corey. “The family is trying to have patience and faith through all of this."

Crump said they are hoping for charges and an arrest as soon as possible.

"We know we want that day to come,” Crump said. “We want a very public trial so the evidence can come out and show people that the justice system works for everybody."

Crump added that he believed the evidence that has come out has “made it clear” that charges should be filed, without the need of a grand jury.

George Zimmerman's new attorney, Hal Uhrig, told CNN that he was "not surprised" by the announcement.

Uhrig said he doesn't know what her ultimate decision will be but that the move to go without a grand jury is a "courageous move on her part."

Martin ventured out from his father's fiancee's home in Sanford to get a snack at a nearby convenience store. As he walked home with a bag of Skittles and an Arizona iced tea, he was shot and killed by Zimmerman.

Sanford police questioned Zimmerman and released him without charges.

From there, the case has evolved into opposing allegations from Zimmerman's supporters, Martin's family and authorities.

Zimmerman says he killed Martin in self-defense after the teen punched him and slammed his head on the sidewalk, according to an Orlando Sentinel report that was later confirmed by Sanford police.

The case  has triggered a nationwide debate about Florida's "stand your ground" law - which allows people to use deadly force anywhere they feel a reasonable threat of death or serious injury - and race in America.

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Filed under: Florida • Trayvon Martin
soundoff (633 Responses)
  1. Jacques Strappe, World Famous French Ball Carrier

    Wow, there sure are a lot of experts as well as eyewitnesses to the events that transpired on that night. You would think the case would be a slamdunk with all of you people helping the prosecution.

    So far, the only thing I've heard people use as a basis to have Zimmerman get thrown in jail is speculation. Last time I checked, you need to PROVE somebody is guilty. I'm not saying he's not guilty but you clearly don't have the facts to say he wasn't within the Stand Your Ground law (which is a stupid law). They will not take the case to court if there is no way they can win it and let's be honest, with the evidence available, you can't prove he is guilty.

    April 9, 2012 at 12:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mark in Atlanta

      Dude, you don't need to "prove" someone is guilty to charge them. That's what trials are for. Here's what we know- an armed adult followed and eventually killed a teenager who was doing nothing wrong at the time. That's not speculation. And in any sane society, that should be enough for a charge.

      April 9, 2012 at 1:03 pm | Report abuse |
  2. me

    something happened. it is highly suspect that someone just got shot for minding their own business. who started the "something" that happened is not known by all the supporters and people posting. nor is how that "something" ended with someone getting shot. arguing who is guilty makes you look stupid. let the investigators and the jury decide and STOP MAKING THIS ABOUT RACE AND POLITICS.

    April 9, 2012 at 12:49 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Jehosophat

    If this dude gets off for killing that kid......guarantee you Zimmerman is killed by someone on the street. After all this there is no way he can walk the streets of and city or town in the US. His face and name are everywhere. The dude is a deadman if he doesn't go to jail. If he goes to jail then he'll be in solitary since every black man in the penn will be out to kill him as well.

    Zimmerman – you are a dead man walking.

    April 9, 2012 at 12:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tim

      just like casey anthony right? Oh, right, she's still kicking. Keep telling youself hes a dead man if it makes you feel better, but he'll likely be around and just fine for a long time.

      April 9, 2012 at 1:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • Scott

      Hmmm, seemed like OJ walked around for a pretty long time as a free man. I don't seem to remember any death threats or bounties placed on his head. Why would that be?

      April 9, 2012 at 1:07 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Dave

    I guess that since this happened, there hasn't been any other shootings in the US.....at least none that Al Sharpton, Jessie Jackson, or the coward thugs known as the Black Panthers,........ has spoken about.

    One thing that does get under my skin, is the punk Black Panthers talking about being an 'Army' and calling themselves 'soldiers'.....You can bet that NONE of them were ever brave enough to be in the military...as well as being totally disrespectful to the soldiers that are serving their country in a respectable and honorable fashion...instead of some inner city punks acting as thugs....plain and simple....

    April 9, 2012 at 12:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mark in Atlanta

      Dave, the so-called "new" black panthers are about 10 people, most of whom are likely self appointed knuckleheads like George Zimmerman. You sound like they are some serious force in US politics. They aren't, so no need for yopu to be so worried. Don't like Al SHarpton? Ok, Don't listen to him. Just like those of us who don't like Rush are free to not listen to him. But don't kid yourself that one is somehow better than the other.

      April 9, 2012 at 1:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • papanez

      Great resonse, Mark!

      April 9, 2012 at 1:11 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Sick_of_this

    Race is not the issue to me. Based on what I have read, I don't think Zimmerman was racist. This appeared to be someone who jumped to some conclusions and was frustrated with the lack of response by police. I can understand that. However, he was not properly trained to handle the situation. His past experience attacking police officers and beating up women should have precluded him from serving as a self-designated captain of my neighborhood watch. Obviously this is someone who has some issues with controlling themselves.

    Trayvon probably was not an angel either. He did not deserve to be followed or lose his life. His life was just as valuable as Zimmerman's.

    April 9, 2012 at 12:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • A Godbodian

      Exactly what gives you the right to claim a child you obviously dont know wasn't an angel. You have no knowledge of the character of that CHILD and in the end he was A CHILD. Grow up and give others what you would look to be offered to your own.

      April 9, 2012 at 12:54 pm | Report abuse |
  6. A Godbodian

    Geniuses... DID ZIMMERMAN DRAG THE BODY 70 FEET FROM WHERE HIS CAR WAS? NO. OH I THOUGHT NOT. THEN HOW DID THE BODY GET 70 FEET AWAY FROM HIS CAR IF AT HIS CAR IS WHERE HE WAS ATTACKED? DONT KNOW. I DO. BECAUSE HE WASN'T ATTACKED AT HIS CAR OR AT ALL. HE IS COVERING UP FOR HIMSELF BECAUSE AFTER HE SHOT TRAYVON HONESTLY THINKING THAT HE WAS IN THE FIGHT OF HIS LIFE WITH A VIOLENT WOULD BE CRIMINAL AND BUGULARY SUSPECT HE SEARCHED THE BODY AND FOUND IT WAS JUST A KID.

    HE'S STUDYING TO BECOME A COP REMEMBER SO OF COURSE HE KNOWS WHAT TO SAY AND HOW TO SAY IT.

    April 9, 2012 at 12:51 pm | Report abuse |
  7. JP

    All of you ppl saying Zimmerman went to meet the police need to LISTEN to the tape. When the dispatcher ask Zimmerman where he want the police to meet him, he clearly stats " HAVE THEM CALL ME AND I'll LET THEM KNOW WHERE I'M AT". He's the Neighborhood Watch for that community, HOW doesn't he know where his car is parked? He had no intentions of meeting the police.

    April 9, 2012 at 12:52 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Chris

    I am so sick of this case and everyone with their own agenda tryin to blow this up bigger then it needs to be. People only seem to see and hear what they want to and do not have the common sense to wait to comment until we know all of the facts. Its always, the justice system is corrupt...it may not be aways perfect but it is not as biased as everyone makes it out to be. I hope that justice prevails and is not prejudiced and pressured by all the media hype and everyone speaking half truths.

    April 9, 2012 at 12:52 pm | Report abuse |
  9. nopretenders

    Florida law says it was self defense
    and no amount of marching, rioting or threats will change that

    if he is charged, he will be aquitted

    April 9, 2012 at 12:54 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Mark in Atlanta

    It's been obvious since the moment they were proposed that stand your ground laws are nuts. Got a gun? As long as you say you "felt" threatened, you're free to shoot anyone you want. All the Columbine killers needed to say to escape charges in FL is that they felt "threatened" by the students they shot. Hinckley? Why, he just felt "threatened" by Ronald Reagan. Nothing wrong with shooting the guy if you felt threatened. Those guys who just went on the drive by shooting spree in OK? Why they just felt really, really threatened. Let's see how many people praising Zimmerman here are cheering when a black adult starts "patroling" a white subrban neighborhood, stalking teenagers and demanding they identify themselves to him, and then shooting a kid who feels creeped out and trys to defend himself. Stand your ground? Crazy.

    April 9, 2012 at 12:54 pm | Report abuse |
  11. srp

    %%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%
    Question: who was really standing their ground? Trayvon was minding his business when a stranger started following him, then the stranger approached him…. Was Trayvon the aggressor or the victim?
    The way I see it, Zimmerman was the aggressor, he was the one who approached Trayvon, and because he is a weak punk he could not take that azz beating he had coming to him for approaching Trayvon so he did the coward thing and pulled out a gun.

    April 9, 2012 at 12:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • Alex

      Are you a eyewitness? How does anybody know exactly what happend. George just decided to shoot him for kicks? is this the story now.Get a hold of yourself

      April 9, 2012 at 1:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • Scott

      So, we are not allowed to question why someone is in our neighborhood when we do not know them? Oh, yeah thats right you must live by the "I am not gonna say anything" rule. See someone shot in front of you, oh no you are not gonna say anything, you do not want to get involved!

      SOME people still CARE about thier neighborhoods!

      April 9, 2012 at 1:19 pm | Report abuse |
  12. candy

    you are so right about that

    April 9, 2012 at 12:57 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Chris

    None of you idiots were there, you are only hearing what the media is feeding you to start trouble. I love all of these assumptions being made like people were at the scene of the crime and witnessed it themselves.

    April 9, 2012 at 12:59 pm | Report abuse |
  14. dewmanna

    I cannot believe they have not arrested George Zimmerman yet. It is a simple case. If I were the prosecution I would arrest George Zimmerman for "FAILING TO OBEY A LAWFUL ORDER" which subsequencially resulted in the death of Treyvon. On the initial 911 call the 911 dispatch officer asks, "ARE YOU FOLLOWING HIM?", Mr. Zimmerman replies, "YES". The 911 officer replies, "OK, WE DON't NEED YOU DOING THAT!".....This is a lawful order! It set's a dangerous precedence when the 911 officers directions are not given weight and the presumption of law. After George Zimmerman failed to obey the lawful order of the 911 officer, the ensuing conflict took place. We must apply the "RIGHT TO STAND YOUR GROUND LAW" equally, Treyvon had the right to stand his ground also. Clearly George Zimmerman is the aggressor pursuing Treyvon in violation of a directing 911 officers obvious command.

    April 9, 2012 at 1:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • Chris

      How does anyone know he did not follow that order and was walking back to his car when the incident went down? Where is the evidence that he did not turn around and start heading back??

      April 9, 2012 at 1:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • Scott

      The "dispacher" is NOT an officer of the law!

      April 9, 2012 at 1:13 pm | Report abuse |
  15. GM

    @Brian&grillkicker...You two are idiots...For every 1 'legally' registered firearm the 'STREETS' have 10+...Why do you think so many police departments run GUN EXCHANGE PROGRAMS you idiots....SMHLMAO...The LA RIOTS will look like a campfire if this is not handled correctly...Guess CNN will delete this fact AGAIN because they really don't want people to know just how well armed the 'STREETS' really are...You can delete again now CNN...

    April 9, 2012 at 1:09 pm | Report abuse |
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