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. Dave

    Why does the media insist on using this same picture of Martin as a 12 year old kid??
    IMO the media is doing all that they can to blow this completely out of proportion.....just like the following statement:
    " As he walked home with a bag of Skittles and an Arizona iced tea, he was shot and killed by Zimmerman."
    Maybe it should read......"He was shot and killed by Zimmerman...IN SELF DEFENSE"

    Lets wait and hear the whole story.......

    April 9, 2012 at 12:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • Say what?

      cause his parents want everybody to see a kids face and not an adult

      April 9, 2012 at 12:28 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Jordan

    I think that when you post a story about a white teen getting killed by black teens you are missing the point. The outrage to me is based on the fact that the assailant has not been arrested and may not face trial to prove his guilt or innocence. We can agree that a teen was shot and killed. Let a jury determine if it was self-defense. In those other cases being cited, the arrest of the criminals who acted so callously allows justice to be served.

    It is naive to think that there are hate crimes occuring across all spectrums of race. It is how the justice system handles such events that leads to anger and frustration.

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

      It is naive to NOT think. My mistake.

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

      Not every case goes to trial. That is what they should have a grand jury decide, whether there is enough evidence to procecute or not.

      With the attention this case is getting, the prosecutor should not be making the decision.

      April 9, 2012 at 1:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • koza

      Nope. The outrage is at the black community lynch mob.

      MLK asked to be be judged by his character. Well, let's judge the black community by their collective character, shall we? They look like a lynch mob. OK? Talk is cheap. Before you asked to be judged by your character, make sure you possess a fine one.

      April 9, 2012 at 7:02 pm | Report abuse |
  3. SactownJack

    I think this case hinges on two facts that need to be addressed in order to determine true fault: Did Trayvon, after George turned around to go back to his car, assault George. And the fact the George was not supposed to be carrying a firearm according to a local news source regarding the rules of the watch program George was affiliated with. From what I have gathered from various sources it doesn't seem likely that murder charges will be filed but that some type of carrying a concealed weapon will. I also believe this huge delay in the investigation is an attempt by authorities to minimize the blow back of the news that there will not be a murder charge filed.

    April 9, 2012 at 12:27 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Another Liberal

    FromBelow,

    How can you defend Mr. Zimmerman’s defense line, when there is no evidence, at least not shown publicly? But you just present it as a fact, against the police video of him in custody with no physical damage, and the 911 call where he was told to stand down. At least you have to agree that this case needs to be presented in a court and every one present their arguments. But for people just believe it, because he says so, is just incredible. Maybe Jon Steward was right the benefit of the doubt can only be applied to one side, and the other side is not allowed to have it.

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

      Remember that Zimmerman must be proven GUILTY. He does not have to prove his innocence. He does get the benefit of the doubt until he is proven guilty as in any other crime.

      April 9, 2012 at 12:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dean

      Do not confuse court with a grand jury. This should go to a grand jury to determine if court is needed.

      April 9, 2012 at 1:58 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Say what?

    Anybody surprised? Zimm will be set free, as he deserves, if you follow the law. So Spike Lee can tweet about HIS life and the black panters can go back into hiding, hope for good!

    Case closed, next case

    April 9, 2012 at 12:27 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Name*jt

    shh. Do you hear that? It's the sound of another murderer going free in racist, lawless backwoods state of FL.

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

      Sshhh did you READ that – it's call the Florida Stand Your Ground law. Try voting in lawmakers who don't write such garbage laws and stop being a victim.

      April 9, 2012 at 12:28 pm | Report abuse |
  7. jtt

    Like the report says this is not the end of it – Relax all and lets see what the feds say and be prepared to respect their findings too.

    April 9, 2012 at 12:27 pm | Report abuse |
  8. flashtrum

    This is as it should be. A Grand Jury can indict an English muffin. There is either enough evidence that Zimmerman DID NOT break the law as it now stands in Florida or there is not.

    April 9, 2012 at 12:27 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Cheryl B

    What ever the exact case may be there is no justification for Zimmerman to shoot this kid dead. Mr. Martin did not follow Zimmerman, did not have a weapon, or do anything else but stand his own ground. It would be less questionable if Zimmerman suffered any amount of serious damage to his body but the guy didn't go to the doctor until the next day. They were able to put him in hand cuffs and put him in the back of a police car. He was getting beat up after making trouble so he used a weapon instead of his hands...MURDER...someones child is dead and not coming back!

    April 9, 2012 at 12:27 pm | Report abuse |
  10. chuck

    Its sad that this is a race issue. It shouldnt be. This whole event went over everyones heads and its really disheartening. This is a justice/law issue, not race.

    The people using this to demigogue themselves are shameful and are just as guilty as Zimmerman. Im looking at you mainstream media, Al Sharpton.

    Id be willing to bet that there were more than 25 black on black murders in the last month since Trayvon was shot, wheres the oturage for those victims? Most of those victims were probably gang related and wont be prosecuted because of the nature of teh crime and the victim.

    The race hypocrisy is a joke. The focus should be changing the law that allowed this action to happen in teh first place. GEt over it already.

    April 9, 2012 at 12:27 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Frank

    The guy has a right to a grand jury. Sounds like the evidence wont support a grand jury indictment so the prosecutors will charge Mr. Zimmerman by an information.
    The whole thing stinks all the way around. Blacks commit far more crimes against whites than the other way around. If all Zimmerman did was follow Mr. Martin and Mr. Martin turned and assaulted Mr.Zimmerman as the one witness has said then this is a case of self-defense not stand your ground. Using an old pic of Mr. Martin from when he was younger does not help the case for murder or manslaughter!

    April 9, 2012 at 12:28 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Wolf8161

    I like the way the Martin family is saying that they are trying to be patient and have faith through all this. What they and their attorney are not saying is that they will not settle for anything less than a Guilty verdict and then file a mufti-million dollar lawsuit.
    Granted, they have suffered a great loss but sometimes people do things and bring trouble on themselves. They say that there's no way their kid would do anything that would be less than angelic. What a crock! parents are so full of ego for their kids that they can't see the forest for the trees where their kids are concerned. I know lots of people whose kids are pieces of s*&^. Wake up people..............your kids are just like anyone else............capable of things you don't want to think about much less admit to.
    According to parents everywhere..........their kids never do it. It's always someone elses' kid(s) doing it.

    No matter what happens or what the investigation finds.............the parents will cry foul, claim a plot to frame their little angel. and then sue anyone and everyone knowing that they'll get offered a settlement. This is no longer a criminal issue..............it's a witch hunt now to find a scapegoat. Anyone will do so long as it's not their kid.

    April 9, 2012 at 12:28 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Tina

    If it were my son, It would be very hard not to take The "Eye for and Eye" approach.

    April 9, 2012 at 12:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • Wolf8161

      That's because parents don't think with their heads. They think with their emotions. Try looking at your kid from a stranger's point of view. Viewing your kids through rose colored glasses doesn't make them angels.....................it just blinds you to what you don't want to really see.

      April 9, 2012 at 12:31 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Chicago Rita

    There's only one way to interpret we don't need you to do that. It means to stop!!! Yes you stop hearing winds because he started walking through buildings!

    April 9, 2012 at 12:28 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Dustin

    I don't know about this one. This is getting uglier and uglier. No one person should make a decision on this.

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