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. Weebeegone

    If Trayvon"beat" Zimmerman so repeatedly that he was bleeding, wouldn't the coroner have discovered scratches/cuts and blood on Trayvon's hands or body somewhere - especially if it was such a "brutal" attack?

    April 9, 2012 at 12:13 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • You can call me ray

      SOunds likely. wish we could see the report, but all the evidence and witness statements are stilll being withheld by Eric Holder. If he had anything he would instruct the special prosecutor to arrest Z.

      April 9, 2012 at 12:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • Hal Atosis

      Please share a copy of the official coroner's report with the rest of us.

      April 9, 2012 at 12:19 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Anne

    I agree completely with this decision. Why? Because ( a ) a grand jury is not needed and ( b ) given the emotional nature of this case it is extremely doubtful that any grand jury would be able to evaluate the evidence and reach a reasonable conclusion on whether or not it is sufficient for trial. The purpose of the grand jury is to substantiate a prosecutor's belief that there is or isn't sufficient evidence for a trial. So if there is NO real evidence but grand jury is unable to see that objectively, then the grand jury only adds insult to injury in this case.

    The prosecutor is in a VERY awkward position, especially if there is NO real evidence of a crime ( based on law, not based on popular opinion ). Without any REAL evidence, it would be wrong to proceed with charges and a trial. And if there are no charges then yes there will be riots, but you cannot charge someone (wrongly ) just to avoid riots. In the case of riots, then that is NOT the fault of the prosecutor, but it IS the fault of whomever is rioting. There is NO justification for rioting. Regardless of what people believe in this case.

    April 9, 2012 at 12:14 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • Wiseone

      What do you mean there is no evidence of a crime? Someone has been shot dead. Are you of the opinion that citizens should be allowed to shoot other citizens without good reason?

      April 9, 2012 at 12:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • 1safechick

      Wrongly charge someone! He killed a kid walking through the neighborhood. What is clear, is the kid was innocent, and if he fought back, it was because he was being stalked by an adult. Justice is needed.

      April 9, 2012 at 12:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • Harlon Katz

      @Wiseone – people can be shot WITHOUT there being a crime – self defense is an example.

      @1safe – Martin's "innocence" is in question, especially if you are willing to listen to the 911 tapes. They show that Zimmerman was NOT following Martin and was instead arranging to meet the police. In addition, they show that there was more than enough time for Martin to go to his "home", especially if he was afraid. The fact that there was a confrontation after all this time that Zimmerman was just talking to 911 w/o Martin being seen implies that it was Martin that WENT BACK and attacked Zimmerman.

      April 9, 2012 at 2:34 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Doug O

    Wow! Talk about biased reporting, as he walked home he was shot by Zimmerman. The way this is stated it sounds like he was "picked off" as he strolled by; just target practice. Where are at least the few facts. This was not a "turkey shoot" as this story makes it seem by the ignorant form of reporting it.

    April 9, 2012 at 12:14 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • Reuben

      Unfortunately the selective words used in this report are not ignorance, I wish it were. It's calculated and the words are chosen with an agenda in mind.

      April 9, 2012 at 12:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • You can call me ray

      going to the store for candy is just a cover to do what he was caught doing – casing residences on their private property. Odds are he didn't have the skittles, the soft drink, the cell phone, or burglary tools in his hands while he was on top of the ambushed l Mr Z.

      April 9, 2012 at 12:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • JL

      Seriously. Liberal media is such a joke. I'm surprised they even let people comment to expose their obvious manipulation of stories to rile people up. We have eyewitness reports and 911 tapes of the "alleged" confrontation between Trayvon and Zimmerman and a medical report of a broken nose. But this article makes it sound like this case is going just off of Zimmerman's word.
      All that being said, I actually think there should be a trial. The "stand your ground" law in Florida seems crazy. And this case has highlighted that. All the hub bub over race is just politics and it's sad to see people using the death of a teen to push their agenda. Liberals sure like to overlook the fact that Zimmerman himself was a registered democrat and a minority. They'd rather portray him as a white guy in a suit.

      April 9, 2012 at 12:35 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Draac

    Let the riots begin !!!!

    April 9, 2012 at 12:14 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • Hence21

      YES! how better to prove that people in hoddies should not be assumed to be criminals than to get 1000 people together dressed in hoddies and riot.... I really hope people are not stupid enough to do this

      April 9, 2012 at 12:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dave

      Yes that's the spirit. Use this child's death as a reason to go steal yo-self a new IPad and some sneakers.

      April 9, 2012 at 8:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • sonya

      Or kill 3 innocent black people tried for 5 to no avail... in honor of zimmerman who killed an unarmed teen and has not been arrested with so much evidence of probable cause that media sites and blogs cant stop giving their accounts with all of the conflicting evidence. search your soul... people like you are the cause of racism and divide in this country.

      April 10, 2012 at 2:02 am | Report abuse |
    • tagnone

      no need to worry the new black panthers are on the way

      April 10, 2012 at 12:33 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Ken

    The way CNN presents this case is still so ridiculous: All we know is that Trayvon was walking home with a bag of skittles and an iced tea when he was shot and killed by Zimmerman. How is this is inflammatory? Why not phrase it like, "All we know is that Taryvon, a 17 year old fully grown football player was beating George Zimmerman to death when he was shot and killed." That is really all we know.

    April 9, 2012 at 12:14 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • Dee G

      Oh, and you know that for sure?? No, we do not know what happened, so stop with the inflammatory comments.

      April 9, 2012 at 12:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • Netta

      Beating him to death, that's a little far fetched. Witnesses say the tussle happened in the grass. We have seen pictures of what may be a scratch on the back of Zimmerman's head, still no evidence of the broken nose he is claiming to have gotten and we know his injuries weren't serious enough to require a hospital trip, he walked away from the incident. Also 17 is not fully grown and we now know from current pictures that Zimmerman was in shape and outweighed Trayvon by at least 50 pounds. We also know without a doubt that Zimmerman was following Trayvon.

      April 9, 2012 at 12:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • Harlon Katz

      @Netta – IF Zimmerman was attacked, and IF he was loosing, he does not have to wait to get beating within an inch of his life to defend himself with deadly force. He only has to REASONABLY believe that the person ATTACKING HIM means to do him harm. If Martin did go back to confront Zimmerman, which can be inferred from the long delay between Zimmerman losing sight of him and arranging to meet the police and the later confrontation, then Zimmerman would be within his right to defend himself, including using deadly force. Let's also not forget that Martin wasn't the sweet little kid being portrayed in the pictures. He had a good 6" on Zimmerman and was a football player, an athlete, not some weak little kid.

      April 9, 2012 at 2:39 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Terry

    Tawanna Brawley & Trayvon Martin are two different stories, two different issues. I, an African American female, never, from the beginning believed the Tawanna Brawley story. I believe Tawanna came up with a sensational story to cover where she actually was. With Trayvon Martin, I wholeheartedly believe the young man was murdered in cold blood. Zimmerman had no business following and/or approaching Trayvon. The kid was minding his own business & not committing a crime or in the process of committing a crime. Zimmerman should be charged & should face a trial for his actions. A human being is now dead because of Zimmerman's arrogance & stupidity.

    April 9, 2012 at 12:14 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • Facts

      If Martin was not breaking the law in walking where he was at that time of night, then neither was Zimmerman. You can't have it both ways. Any possible charges must hinge upon who attacked whom, and why. Just because someone is following you, does not give you the right to attack them. Neither is there any right to shoot someone without cause. However, if this case does go to trial, and the facts show that Zimmerman was attacked, and he is released....there will still be riots because millions have already judged the case without all of the evidence. Mob mentality.

      April 9, 2012 at 12:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • You can call me ray

      that is the scenario you prefer to envision...and even the president likes that scenario, but thus far everything Mr. Zimmerman told the police checks . If Eric Holder had a shred of evidence to dispute Mr Z then Mr Z would already be in jail.

      April 9, 2012 at 12:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • SuperDave

      You are again assuming that Zimmerman approached Martin. There is no evidence that happened! It is not a crime to follow someone at a far range, albeit its creepy. "Approach" and "Follow" are different. Come on people, stop making up facts!

      April 9, 2012 at 12:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • Harlon Katz

      If you read the 911 transcripts, you would see that it is actually much more likely that Martin was the one that confronted and attacked Zimmerman. Then again, you probably don't WANT to read the transcripts since they provided actual FACTS contradictory to your beliefs.

      April 9, 2012 at 2:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • tagnone

      i think angela corey is talking to him she has no intentions of seeking an arrest for zimmerman

      April 10, 2012 at 12:37 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Wiseone

    You can't just walk around shooting whomever you want. If you shoot someone, you'd better have hard evidence that you needed to. There are eye witnesses who say this was murder in cold blood.

    April 9, 2012 at 12:14 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • Orlando

      Where did you get your information. The only witness who saw anything said the kid was on top of Zimmerman. Nobody else saw anything. I still think Zimmerman should not have gotten out of his car but lets keep the facts straight here.

      April 9, 2012 at 12:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • tagnone

      it does not matter a black child is dead and that makes the white people happy zimmerman will not be charged with anything

      April 10, 2012 at 12:39 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Reuben

    Can't believe people still judge Zimmerman. The man did nothing wrong!

    April 9, 2012 at 12:15 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • Dana

      Really? How much did his dad pay you to say that?

      April 9, 2012 at 12:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • James

      No, he just killed a kid.

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

    Is it possible Trayvon was the one using "Stand Your Ground" trying to defend himself and used physical force. I would sure try to hit or pound someone's head in the ground if they pulled a gun on me too.

    April 9, 2012 at 12:15 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • Reuben

      Following somebody is not against the law. Attacking someone is, those are the facts. Anybody who wants Zimmerman arrested is rushing to judgement.

      April 9, 2012 at 12:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • Harlon Katz

      Not "stand your ground" when you attack someone smaller than you just because you don't like them. From the 911 transcripts, it seems to show that Martin was arranging to meet police officers near the community mailboxes. He is NOT pursuing Martin. The only way for there still to be a confrontation is is Martin went back to attack Zimmerman for "disrespecting" him.

      April 9, 2012 at 2:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • tagnone

      it's funny no one ever sees it that way TRAYVON WAS CLOSE TO ZIMMWRMAN TRYING TO DEFEND HIMSELF

      April 10, 2012 at 12:41 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Beulah Brown

    There is a sickness in this country. A child can be approached by a total stranger, fight for his life, be murdered in cold blood, the police department can botch the investigation, because the killer's father is a former or high official (someones buddy), and walk. Yes, there was racial profiling involved, but the big picture here is how things in USA have not really changed.

    April 9, 2012 at 12:15 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • Mike

      You are assuming that Zimmerman had his gun pulled when the fight began.

      April 9, 2012 at 12:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • Harlon Katz

      911 transcripts moreso imply that Martin was the one that approached Zimmerman.

      April 9, 2012 at 2:44 pm | Report abuse |
  11. nolimits3333

    Zimmerman assaulted a police officer and got off.

    Zimmerman assaulted his girlfriend and got off.

    Zimmerman killed Trayvon Martin and got off.

    It's great having a retired judge as a Dad, isn't it?

    April 9, 2012 at 12:15 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • d10kstcsb

      zimmerman has not got off on the trayvon martin case it is still ongoing, the prosecutor may just be taking her time to gather all the facts to give her the best chance of prosecuting and convicting zimmerman.

      April 9, 2012 at 12:39 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Len

    Seems to me like an over-zealous, cop-wannabe neighborhood watchman out of control. If his head really was beaten against the concrete where's the injuries...looked pretty fine in the police holding area video to me. He should have left the kid alone and there would be no problem today but nooo – he had to play cop...stick his nose where it clearly didn't belong....leave policing to the police fool! I hope he's charged with something!

    April 9, 2012 at 12:16 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • Reuben

      The police aren't capable. This case is suspect, but every time I hear of a home-burglary where the home-owner shoots and kills the perpetrator, I applaud.

      April 9, 2012 at 12:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • Facts

      So what did Zimmerman do that was illegal? He had a right to watch an unknown individual walking through his neighborhood. The prosecutor is reviewing the facts about what happened. Until they are all released, we will only know part of the story. Trust me, if someone had assaulted you, was banging your head against a curb, and you had a gun, you would use it. At that point it would not matter how it happened, just that it was happening.

      April 9, 2012 at 12:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • tagnone

      HE WILL NOT BE CHARGED CAN YOU PEOPLE SEE THE DELAY IS TO MAKE PEOPLE THINK THEY ARE WORKING ON SOMETHING YOU KNOW ZIMMERMAN WILL NOT BE CHARGE BUT IF I WERE HIM I WOULD BE ON MY WAY OUT OF THE COUNTRY FORGET MEXICO

      April 10, 2012 at 12:45 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Devosays

    pants on the ground running in the streets tonight, target practice!!

    April 9, 2012 at 12:16 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • Hence21

      "He was charging me swinging a 9" club. So i shot him...."

      April 9, 2012 at 12:18 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Hence21

    Did Arizona Iced Tea pay to have their name added to the story? Before it was just "iced Tea" and skittles, now it is the specific brand, I guess they wanted to cash in from all the ppl running out to buy skittles and ice tea in their hoddies

    April 9, 2012 at 12:16 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • SuperDave

      "Arizona Iced Tea – Flavor worth dying for...."

      April 9, 2012 at 12:44 pm | Report abuse |
  15. TheTruth

    Sad but nothing is going to happen to Zimmerman. It is just the way of the world. We all knowwhat would have happened to Trayvon had he shot Zimmerman.... just a another sad day.

    April 9, 2012 at 12:16 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • You can call me ray

      If Travon had shot Zimmerman it would be because Travon is a violent thug – It wouldnt be to defend his life,

      April 9, 2012 at 12:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mike

      Everyone seems keep going back to the fact that Zimmerman was following Martin. News flash, following somebody is not a crime in and of itself.

      The question is who initiated the physical confrontation between the two people. According to Zimmerman's story it was Martin who jumped Zimmerman as he walked back to his car. If Zimmerman caught up to Martin then the situation gets fuzzy. Approaching someone and asking them questions is not grounds for the person to start beating on them (even if they are insulted by the questions) but if Zimmerman had his gun out then Martin would be legally able to defend himself from the perceived threat.

      The sad fact is that we only get to hear one side of the story but from what has been released there seems to be some evidence to support Zimmerman's account. More importantly, there is a lack of evidence to prove Zimmerman is lying which is why I can't see how a jury would ever convict him (assuming the jury actually went off the evidence and not just emotion).

      April 9, 2012 at 12:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • dee

      Ray, your a racist!! Its sad, if this happened the other way around, Trayvon would have to post bail, and prove it was self defense.

      April 9, 2012 at 2:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • dee

      And following someone is a crime,its called stalking!!!

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

      I AGREE ANGELA COREY MADE UP HERE MIND THE FIRST DAY AS I STILL SAY SHE HAS NO INTENTION OF CHARGING ZIMMERMAN HE IS TRYING TO COLLECT MONEY TO LEAVE THE COUNTRY

      April 10, 2012 at 12:48 pm | Report abuse |
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