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. AMERICAN COP

    Finger prints taken at autopsy of Trayvon shared with police have matched up with those found at the homes that were
    burglerized. Further investigation showed his cell phone was used in the area the same times when homes were robbed. He was caseing homes for his next victim. He was caught at school with goods from previous unreported
    robberies. He was a crook. Not suprising!

    April 9, 2012 at 2:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • retphxfire

      I just tried to find anything, eve a hint, to back-up your accusations and found NOTHING. If you have sources, quote them.

      April 9, 2012 at 2:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dean

      American Cop, Please site your source. This sounds a little fishy that we can find your claims nowhere else but here.

      April 9, 2012 at 2:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ol' Yeller

      A video taped confession from Zimmerman just appeared on the internet where he confesses to killing Trayvon in cold blood. Turns out his blak friend Joe was there and video taped Trayvon screaming for mercy at Zimmerman laughs and pulls the trigger.
      Just because someone posts a bunch of BS, doesn't meamn it is true. You should just call yourself Sanford Cop and not American cop. No sense giving all cops a bad name.

      April 9, 2012 at 2:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • SHAUNA

      just curious... as an undecided person in this case. Where did your info come from?

      April 9, 2012 at 2:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • Michigan G

      Troll fail.

      April 9, 2012 at 3:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kevin

      Only place I saw that info was on a non journalistic blog in Pennslyvania. Can you please keep to the facts and not make up a bunch of crap like Ol Yeller did. You post LIES and people somehow believe them. There are enough facts in this case to keep your interests for now, but not enough for you to make a judgement, so DON'T.

      April 9, 2012 at 3:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • C. Hill

      Since when does burgulary carry a death sentence? Without a trial? By a passerby?

      April 9, 2012 at 3:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • Liz

      Thats a bold face lie...Martin didn't even go to school in Sanford. His home and school are in Miami which is nearly day's drive away from Sanford.

      April 9, 2012 at 3:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • kyle

      SHHHH!! Don't ruin the narrative here

      April 9, 2012 at 3:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • regina

      I I would like the link or support that you have to substantiate your knowledge of this evidence, I have not read or seen anything about this information. I have been following this case from the very beginning!!!!!!

      April 9, 2012 at 3:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • Candy

      American Cop this will not stay on this blog very long. Expect it to be deleted. They do not want to hear the facts and the media is not ready to give up on the over kill publicity.

      April 9, 2012 at 3:41 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Mary Halley

    I'm glad this case SEEMS to be moving forward. One more important point. George Zimmerman has no right to hide behind the "Stand your ground" statute. The police told him in no uncertain terms to LEAVE IT ALONE; they would take care of it. He did not follow POLICE directives and chose his own path. I hope this prosecutor takes a firm stand where Mr. Zimmerman is concerned.

    April 9, 2012 at 2:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dean

      Let us be clear. The dispatcher at 911 told him that they did not need to follow Treyvon. They did not tell him to leave him alone. They told him to wait for the police to come to give them the information. He says, as does the young boy walking his dog, as does the woman who called 911 while watching the fight (CNN broadcast this weekend); that the boy attacked him and in the struggle he was shot.

      The police questioned Zimmerman for hours and let him go home. Zimmerman made olmost 50 calls to the police over a the last few years and none of those ended like this call did. Something different happened......Treyvon happened.

      April 9, 2012 at 2:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • Chris

      Mary, This is the part of the story I am very confused on. How do we know for sure that after the police told him to leave it alone that he did not do just that? Maybe he did start walking back to his car, has anything come out as far as evidence to show other wise or has that all just been speculation like so much of the rest of this case has been?

      April 9, 2012 at 2:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • Doug l.

      There is no evidence to show that Zimmerman followed Trayvon after the 911 call. No footprints, no grass in the car wbere he got back in his car. Zimmerman was at the spot where he parked to wait for police when Traynon approached him.

      April 9, 2012 at 2:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • tom

      Yeah, martin probably had the same chip on his shoulder that many blacks have. But it got him killed this time.

      April 9, 2012 at 2:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • BMcGee

      Doug I: They were nowhere near Zimmerman's car! Where do you get this??? Both Zimmerman and Martin were in a courtyard in between the backyards of people's houses, Martin face down in the grass. Stop making things up.

      April 9, 2012 at 3:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kevin

      We don't have all the information to make the determiniation that Z did not leave him alone. Z has the right to defend himself with or without that law.

      April 9, 2012 at 3:14 pm | Report abuse |
  3. lonewolf

    Everybody needs to cool their heels we don't know what happen that night. A lot of people are making up their owned stories and starting to beleive it. All I know is a kid got shot to death it happens every day. The only thing that needs to come out is get his parents,Shapton,Jackson and Obama for trying to start racisum. CNN the freedom of speech

    April 9, 2012 at 2:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • retphxfire

      Your comments about Trayvon's parents, etal, proves there is bigotry. I guess since kids get shot every day we just need to accept it and move one. You need to become a human being. BTW, freedom of speech applies to the gov't curbing your speech. CNN can refuse to post your comment.

      April 9, 2012 at 2:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • Chuckus

      Trying to start racism? Racism has been in existence. Obama didn't say anything racist, and I believe you (along with many commenters) think race related is racism. Educate yourself please.

      April 9, 2012 at 2:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ol' Yeller

      The people you named here are asking for Justice (not obama, you just thew him in there because he had something else in common with those people... he too is black). Most people don't even see their own obvious racism. "Denial of racism is the new racism. " Bill Maher- 2012

      April 9, 2012 at 2:48 pm | Report abuse |
  4. caliz

    Zimmerman is in a big sh-t. Prosecutor thinks there's overwhelming probable cause to arrest and therefore do not need grand jury for what is plain commonsense.

    April 9, 2012 at 2:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dean

      The grand jury would take a single persons point of view out of the picture. This case is anything but simple. Again why did this man make almost 50 calls to the police over a the last few years and this is the only one that ended badly. He had the gun then and did not use it. You have to ask why did he use it this time??

      April 9, 2012 at 2:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kevin

      That's not what the prosecutor said. The decision lies with the prosecutor. Grand Juries are used when there is an iffy amount of evidence. Jurors are asked to determine is enough is available. Prosecutors do not need Grand Juries when there is ample evidence of a crime or sifficient evidence that a "crime" did not take place. Do not jump to conclusions. Let the justice system do its job. Don't play into the haters that posted a bounty of Z's head.

      April 9, 2012 at 3:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • Candy

      Could it be that the evidence is over-whelming that Trayvon was the one robbing the houses and after all the witnesses to Zimmerman being attacked is considered? Perhaps this is the way it will go. He will never be charged. Many do not want it to be resolved this way and do not wish to believe the truth. Sad.

      April 9, 2012 at 3:46 pm | Report abuse |
  5. 2cnts

    So, why isn't this on national news? ww w.youtube. com/verify_age?next_url=/watch%3Fv%3DDiHlRDOnF1M

    April 9, 2012 at 2:28 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Joey Isotta-Fraschini ©™

    If the facts in American Cop's post at 2;07 PM are true, the position of Trayvon as an innocent child out for a walk is immeasurably altered.
    Also, many of those commenting seem to think that condemnation of the "stand your ground" law will alter a decision regarding ZImmerman's acting within the law in existence at the time of the confrontation and shooting.

    April 9, 2012 at 2:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • Martinka

      If these are facts, that may be the case...but I think American Cop is full of it, as he cited not one single source for his assertions. I agree with Ol Yeller. Anyone can post fiction on here. Doesn't mean it's true. This is the Net, after all!

      April 9, 2012 at 2:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ol' Yeller

      So, if the 'facts' American cop posted are true (seems to be you already accept them as 'facts') then Zimmerman had every right to shoot Trayvon?
      He's a much better wannabe cop then we all imagined. He is brilliant! He saw Trayvon, analyzed his fingerprints from afar, put them in his Bat-black man-fingerprint- analyzer, matched them to the recent burglaries, decided to not just make a citizen's arrest but to just go ahead and complete the execution for burglary. I mean this is America, right? Where people are tried, convicted, and executed on the street for minor offenses, right?

      April 9, 2012 at 2:40 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Doug l.

    "According to the report, on Oct. 21 staffers monitoring a security camera at Dr. Michael M. Krop Senior High School spotted Trayvon and two other students writing "W.T.F.," an acronym for "What the f-," on a hallway locker, according to schools police. The security employee, who knew Trayvon, confronted the teen and looked through his bag for the graffiti marker. Trayvon's backpack contained 12 pieces of jewelry, in addition to a watch and a large flathead screwdriver, according to the report, which described the screwdriver as a burglary tool.
    T was asked if the jewelry, which was mostly women's rings and earrings, belonged to his family or a girlfriend.

    "Martin replied it's not mine. A friend gave it to me," according to the report. Trayvon declined to name the friend.

    School police impounded the jewelry and sent photos of the items to detectives at Miami-Dade police for further investigation. "Martin was suspended, warned and dismissed for the graffiti," according to the report prepared by Miami-Dade Schools Police.

    That suspension was followed four months later by another one, in February, in which Trayvon was caught with an empty plastic bag with traces of marijuana in it, the boy's family's attorney has confirmed. A schools police report obtained by The Miami Herald specifies two items: a bag with marijuana residue and a "marijuana pipe."

    April 9, 2012 at 2:29 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Robert

    Getting sick of follow up stories and a opinions. Need to wait for all the evidence to come out and then tells us the outcome. If nothing else Zimmerman will face a civil suit that will cost him money of the rest of his life.

    April 9, 2012 at 2:30 pm | Report abuse |
  9. blam

    News flash – many young Americans have been murdered since this story broke. This needs to go away now.

    April 9, 2012 at 2:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • Chuckus

      And many of their murderers have been aprehended or are being sought after ulike this one. If you don't want to hear it, just don't comment.

      April 9, 2012 at 2:41 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Guest482

    3 people were shot and killed this morning at a Brooklyn Park, MN daycare (licensed home). Police are searching for a black male that was wearing a navy blue hoodie... Just thought I'd point out the hoodie being it seems to be a huge thing.

    April 9, 2012 at 2:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ol' Yeller

      2 men in Tulsa shot and killed 3 random black men and wounded two others. One of the men had posted on his facebook page that he was upset at the 2 year anniversary of his father being 'killed by a f_ _ _ _ _ n_ _ _ _ _"
      The police chief in Tulsa stated their is no evidence of a hate crime.
      I don't know if anyone was wearing hoodies or not, but I thought this might be a proper response to your useless drivel.

      April 9, 2012 at 2:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • banasy©

      I wear hoodies.
      I've worn them for years.
      When it is cold, windy, or raining, I put the hood up.
      That is what they are *for*.
      The end.

      April 9, 2012 at 3:25 pm | Report abuse |
  11. tom

    Martin called his freindds to tell them, hey my daddy girlfrrind lives in a nice neighborhood, come on over and let's get some of their stuff. Ill check it out on my way back from the store. Nobody looking hurry up.

    April 9, 2012 at 2:49 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Jeff Frank (R-Ohio) "Right vs. Wrong"

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

    Special prosecutor? Grand Jury? Forget playing the race card crap. Charge the defendant with premeditated 1 st degree murder, AND G E T I T D O N E !!!

    April 9, 2012 at 2:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dean

      It is called our justice system. The police typically charge people when it is clear cut. Here they released him and gave the evidence to the procecutor. Then the procecutor can send it to the grand jury and let a group look at the evidence and make a decision. That is what should happen here. There is absolutely no evidence of 1st degree. Again why did this man make almost 50 calls to the police over a the last few years and this is the only one that ended badly. He had the gun then and did not use it. You have to ask why did he use it this time??

      April 9, 2012 at 3:10 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Church

    As the article implies, the fact that she chose not to use a grand jury indicates that she believes she has enough evidence to indict.

    April 9, 2012 at 2:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dean

      The article does not imply that at all. In fact it states in the second paragraph, "The decision should not be considered a factor in the final determination of the case," Corey's office said in a statement. But, they should take the decision to a grand jury.

      April 9, 2012 at 3:13 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Jake

    Next please. This is becoming old news, no one cares.

    April 9, 2012 at 3:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • Candy

      If the colors of skin were reversed – it would have been only a little blip on the news for a couple of days. As happened in Valrico, Florida last year.

      April 9, 2012 at 3:47 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Doug l.

    "In 2008, Zimmerman completed a 14-week citizens' police academy program offered by the Seminole Sheriff's Department. "At the time the homeowners association decided to organize a neighborhood watch, George Zimmerman was the only volunteer. He was then chosen as the neighborhood watch coordinator by his neighbors, according to Wendy Dorival, who organizes Neighborhood Watch for the Sanford Police Department. It was reported Mr. Zimmerman wanted the neighborhood to be safe for his wife who encouraged him to get a gun permit because of the area's high crime rate. The February 2012 Homeowner association newsletter requested that crime victims "call our captain, George Zimmerman" after calling police."

    April 9, 2012 at 3:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • FlotsamJetsam

      II have never heard of any Neighborhood Watch program anywhere being allowed to carry guns. They are called "watch" for a reason, not VIGILANTE! I would be curious if CNN or other media organization can find out whether the watch in Sanford had such a rule. If it was at the Homeowner Assoc asked Zimmerman to get a gun or even acknowledging it then I see a civil lawsuit by Martin's family against Zimmerman.

      April 9, 2012 at 7:30 pm | Report abuse |
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