June 24th, 2013
01:45 AM ET

The Zimmerman trial: What you need to know

Opening statements begin Monday in the trial of George Zimmerman, a neighborhood watch captain accused of fatally shooting 17-year-old Trayvon Martin on February 26, 2012, in Sanford, Florida.

Zimmerman is charged with second-degree murder. He says he shot the unarmed teen in self-defense.

A jury of six women will decide Zimmerman's fate, which has already drawn some scrutiny from the public about whether he will get a fair trial.

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Filed under: Crime • Justice • U.S.
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  1. Patrick

    Chrissy is a bruiser. You better watch out Jeffro.

    June 27, 2013 at 8:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • lol??

      Jeffro is celebratin to SCOTUS decision. He's eatin a manwich.

      June 27, 2013 at 9:16 pm | Report abuse |
  2. chrissy

    A bruiser? Hmm why would you say that troll? Because i dont take your crap? Lol have a great night.

    June 27, 2013 at 9:29 pm | Report abuse |
  3. BOMBO

    The primary focus of this case should be gun control. If Zimmerman was not allowed to carry the gun, Martin would still be alive. I'll go one step further – if he was not armed, Zimmerman would not have had the guts to confront the bigger stronger Martin in the first place.

    But hey. Guns don't kill people. Right.

    June 28, 2013 at 12:33 am | Report abuse |
    • Pete

      @Bombo,yup right on both counts but what do you expect from a Charles Bronson wanne be with a gun,a dangerous combo right!!They said last night the biggest part of this case was why did Zimmerman go against the dispatchers orders and track Trayvon down or more like stalking from seeing him initially leaving the gated community,shopping for his brother than returning to the same community and Zimmerman saying a black kid doesn't belong there to the dispatcher,not racial,I think otherwise!!And that Rachel Jeantel a high school grad with the IQ of a rock that can't string words together intelligently to make a supposid sentence or just sits there lying saying she's going to legal school when she's not,is she helping Trayvons cause,boy that's a big NO!!...How bout she can't read a letter she had help compose wrote in cursive and asked to read it and can't only knowing Spanish,Haitian Creole,what a pathedic joke,how'd she get through school period...Waited 2 days to tell someone Trayvon MIGHT have been in a fight not knowing he was dead already,where's her head,up her nether regions!!!She helped Zimmermans cause more than hurt him making Trayvon out to be a bad ass!!Get her outta there and that Martin family lawyer is a joke as well applauding Rachels testimony saying she done good,what more ignorence showing in our public schools education system right sounding real smart ha!!!This trial is sounding more a comedy than an actual murder trial and the way its going don't be surprised if Zimmerman walks because with witnesses like Trayvons girlfriend Rachel, others it can't get much worse for the Martin family against the racist shooter Zimmerman...Just seeing CNN tear it apart makes me sick of our legal system and education system nationally as well in turning out idiots like Rachel who'll eventually end up on government assistence because she's dead from the neck up and will never be of any use in society,period, the dumming down of America and republicans its working with your education cuts,be proud!!!

      June 28, 2013 at 9:14 am | Report abuse |
    • flamespeak

      I cannot be against the arming of citizens with firearms because they truly are an equalizing force. I am a large man, 6'3" and 300+lbs. There is little most people can do to stop me from causing them massive amounts of pain and doing whatever I chose to do with them if I would choose to do so, however, that same individual armed with a firearm greatly changes the dynamics of the situation.

      July 1, 2013 at 6:30 am | Report abuse |
  4. BOMBO

    Looking for someone to blame? Suzanna Hupp. She's the politician who fought so hard for carry permits for "law abiding citizens" in the wake of the Luby's massacre in Kileen Texas years ago. Carry permits were very difficult before then. So now, every time an unregulated, untrained yahoo with a legal carry permit kills someone, Suzanna Hupp has blood on her hands.

    June 28, 2013 at 12:42 am | Report abuse |
  5. Joey Isotta-Fraschini ©™

    I believe that the verdict will not be affected, but Ms. Raquel Jeantel has provided pure Monty Python at Mr. Zimmerman's murder trial. She may be the least credible witness I've ever seen, and she is the prosecution's most important evidence. The jury, however, will be afraid not to render a verdict of guilty of murder in the second degree.

    June 28, 2013 at 3:10 am | Report abuse |
  6. Joey Isotta-Fraschini ©™

    I know that Ms. Jeantel will write at least one book–already a bestseller–and she may mount a campaign for public office. Perhaps an appointment is soon to come. I'd like to acquire an autographed photograph.

    June 28, 2013 at 3:25 am | Report abuse |
    • BOMBO

      Except for the fact that she's illiterate.

      June 28, 2013 at 12:58 pm | Report abuse |
  7. chrissy

    Lol @ Joey, well lets hope she writes better than she speaks!

    June 28, 2013 at 7:29 am | Report abuse |
    • Pete

      @chrissy,good after noon to you and all..Rachel Jeantel supposidly was shown a letter by lawyers she helped write remembering what happened with Trayvon while she was on the phone that night and said to lawyers she couldn't read cursive because she only reads,understands Spanish,Creole a haitian language..My question how the hell did she get through high school in Miami then the air head..Boy if any witness could kill their chances of prosecuting Zimmerman this nitwit could just give her some more time she'll have them thinking Trayvon is a black thug against Trayvon lawyers advise she's so stupid!!

      June 28, 2013 at 6:08 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Pete

    Love these idiotic CNN moderators when you have something intelligent to inject they block you..Good mornin chrissy,bombo banasy and others!!Quit your trolling CNN and do your jobs..

    June 28, 2013 at 9:17 am | Report abuse |
  9. Veritas

    Zimmerman is innocent, and there's so much doubt all over this it stinks of malicious prosecution by the Seminole County prosecutor's office, scrambling for dem votes from the community of color like the Mike Nifong Duke lacrosse case. Disbar the prosecutor, dismiss all charges and be done with this abomination.

    June 28, 2013 at 11:48 am | Report abuse |
    • lol??

      Lol. If he's so innocent y is there doubt?? Answer: cuz Zimmy likes to canna get his lies str8. Silly Veritas, votes have nuttin tado wi Zimmy bein a killa.

      June 28, 2013 at 12:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • BOMBO

      @lol? Jeantel? Is that you?

      To quote Robert Deniro in Midnight Run "How can I argue with you, I don't know what the bleep you're talking about?"

      June 28, 2013 at 1:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • BOMBO

      Agree Veritas. This is so unwinnable that you could almost imagine Zimmerman suing the State in the wake of this.

      June 28, 2013 at 1:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • Pete

      @veritas,the problem here is prosecutors not going after the fact he disobeyed police dispatchers orders and tracked Trayvon down while having a loaded gun,that's premeditated...And did Zimmerman identify himself upon catching up with Trayvon because if he did this supposid cracker this Rachel Jeantel said of Zimmerman would of never shot Trayvon as easy as that...If you have a concealed weapons permit as I do the last thing you do is pull out that gun to shoot and you give yourself options making using the gun the last option,Zimmerman didn't because he confronted him probibly not telling Trayvon who he was or that would of quickly defused the situation...Zimmerman is just a community watch volunteer thinking if he killed a supposid black thug he'd get that chance at being a police officer ,the job he always wanted but was turned down twice before..What about the NRA and ALEC infusing money to back Zimmerman but donors like Bill Gates,McDonald's,others backed out when learned that ALEC had white supremisist,KKK members employed there and if that isn't racist what is!!I'm in Florida and if Zimmerman goes free then the justice system as far as I'm concerned is broken and has to be fixed because its evident here if you've followed as much as I have Zimmerman is guilty,plain as day,no self defense if you track somebody,again its premeditated murder as far as I'm concerned..Take care all.

      June 28, 2013 at 6:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • Veritas

      Zimmerman has proven himself to be a liar and a person who has beaten women up. He should not have had a gun in the first place – but due to his father's corrupt influence, his past crimes were given a pass. Add to that the fact that he went against the accepted practices on Neighborhood Watch by HAVING a gun, not patrolling with a partner, and refusing to obey the 9/11 operator – and his prior 9/11 calls profiling black people – and he will most likely be convicted. He is a menace.

      June 28, 2013 at 8:46 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Joey Isotta-Fraschini ©™

    Did the prosecution think that John Good's testimony would be an asset in their case?

    June 28, 2013 at 12:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • BOMBO

      Good described a brutal beating that Martin was giving to Zimmerman, with Zimmerman screaming for help. And yes, apparently he was a prosecution witness. He said he did NOT see Zimmerman's head being bashed on the concrete but that's a moot point considering he did not see every second and had run to call 911. The photos and paramedic reports confirm the injuries to the back of Zimmerman's head anyway.

      June 28, 2013 at 5:36 pm | Report abuse |
  11. BOMBO

    The testimony that has been given so far does absolutely nothing to help the prosecution. All we know so far is that there was a fight, Zimmerman was getting badly beaten, and he shot Martin while the beating was happening.

    So far, not guilty, in about 5 minutes.

    June 28, 2013 at 1:05 pm | Report abuse |
  12. chrissy

    Badly beaten? Are you serious? Did you look at his mug shots? They were not of a badly beaten person i can tell you that from personal experience! As for the marks on the back of his head he coulda done that to his self once he realised what he did and how much trouble he was in! And @ BOMBO the way you defend this clown one would think you condone what he did!

    June 28, 2013 at 1:39 pm | Report abuse |
  13. chrissy

    We will see @ BOMBO. The thing that troubles many is: WHY did zimmerman SHOOT TO KILL? And why didn't he just shoot to disable Trayvon? He made a conscious choice when he aimed that gun. And i dont believe for a secont that he was afraid. He was bigger, stronger and had a weapon!

    June 28, 2013 at 4:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • BOMBO

      I don't think he shot to kill or disable. I think he just shot. That's part of the problem with having untrained civilians with guns. And he was not bigger and stronger. You are thinking of the 12 year old skinny Trayvon Martin from the original media reports. The 17 year old Trayvon Martin was much bigger and stronger than Zimmerman.

      June 28, 2013 at 5:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • flamespeak

      Why did he shoot to kill? Because there is no other way to shoot somebody. Anyone who has any kind of training with a firearm will tell you this. You never fire a weapon at a person unless you mean to kill them because there is no safe spot to hit a person.

      July 1, 2013 at 6:05 am | Report abuse |
  14. chrissy

    Yes to the BACK of his head! But if someone is giving you a brutal beat down trust me it would be EXTREMELY visable to your face. The injuries to the back of his head could be inflicted by himself!

    June 28, 2013 at 5:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • BOMBO

      He also very clearly had a broken nose and blood running down his face. Again, there are photos you can view on line , and both police and paramedics confirm seeing him in this condition. It would have been quite a beating indeed as the prosecution witness Good described "ground and pound".

      June 28, 2013 at 7:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • BOMBO

      Self inflicted? You've GOT to be joking.

      June 28, 2013 at 7:46 pm | Report abuse |
  15. BOMBO

    My version of what went wrong: two guys got into a fight. One of then was losing, but was armed.

    How do you fix it: no gun carry permits, especially for untrained yahoos. Greater civility, politeness.

    Other people's version of what went wrong: big hulking white guy with a gun hunted and killed a skinny little black kid.

    How do you fix it: Convict him, even amid doubts, and hope the problem goes away.

    June 28, 2013 at 7:52 pm | Report abuse |
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