JACKSONVILLE, Florida — Florida State Attorney Angela Corey announced yesterday that the State of Florida has charged George Zimmerman with Second Degree Murder in the Sanford, Florida Trayvon Martin shooting case.
Recent reports state that Zimmerman has a new defense attorney, a Mr. Mark O’Mara, Esq.
Corey said during the press conference that, “We did not come to this decision lightly. We do not prosecute by public pressure, we prosecute by the facts of the case and the laws of the State of Florida … We launched an intensive investigation that the Sanford Police Department had already done … The Florida Supreme Court defines our roles as administers of justice, seekers of the truth. We will adhere to the rules of the criminal justice and the Constitution. We will continue to seek the truth throughout this case.”
Corey added that, “Zimmeran is indeed in custody, whereabouts undisclosed, and that is for his safety. Zimmerman turned himself in and was arrested on the capias that was already issued [a capias is an arrest warrant issued by a judge at the request of a prosecutor]. This investigation was underway by the Sanford Police Department and [State Attorney For Brevard County and Seminole County] Norm Wolfinger’s office. We carried on with that work, following proper Florida law and procedure. We made sure before we issued this capias and made an arrest … When you have a homicide, jury instructions say an excusable or justifiable homicide. All murders are homicide – not all homicides are murders.”
The apparent coordinated efforts between Corey, the Chief Justice of the Seminole County Court, and the voluntary arrest by Zimmerman could leave some to wonder if the buck is being passed to the Florida judicial system where the case will be dismissed within a matter of months after public outcry has died down. The flip side to this argument is that Corey had an interest in protecting Zimmerman’s safety while at the same time not creating a inflammatory situation in the public – something Corey referred to during the conference that Florida bar ethics prevents an attorney from inflaming the public.