Prosecutor in Florida shooting case comes out swinging
Monday, June 24, 2013 - 00:58
June 24 - Prosecutor John Guy launched into a profanity laced opening statement, reportedly repeating the words of George Zimmerman, as Zimmerman's trial for the murder of an unarmed black teenager begins. Rough Cut (no reporter narration)
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ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION)
***EDITORS PLEASE NOTE - THIS EDIT CONTAINS PROFANITY THAT HAS BEEN MUTED***
STORY: The trial of George Zimmerman got off to a dramatic start in Sanford, Florida on Monday (June 24) with the prosecution starting their opening statements by quoting obscenities used by Zimmerman as he trailed 17-year old Trayvon Martin before fatally shooting him last February.
"Good Morning. 'F--king punks. These a--holes always get away.' Those were the words in that grown man's mouth as he followed in the dark a 17-year old boy who he didn't know. Excuse my language but those were his words, not mine," said Assistant State Attorney John Guy who presented the opening statement for the prosecution.
Both sides will present opening statements on Monday with lawyers outlining the basic facts in the case, and what they believe the evidence will show.
This follows two weeks of jury selection which ended last week with a panel of six female jurors chosen to decide Zimmerman's fate. Due to blanket media coverage the judge ordered the jury sequestered for the duration of the trial.
Zimmerman, who is 29 and part Hispanic, is accused of second degree murder in the shooting of Trayvon Martin, an armed black teen whose death set off a civil rights firestorm.
Zimmerman was the neighborhood watch volunteer in a gated community in Sanford at the time of the killing on February 26, 2012. He has pleaded innocent to the charge of second-degree murder and could face life imprisonment if convicted.
Martin, 17, was a student at a Miami-area high school and a guest of one of the homeowners in the Retreat at Twin Lakes community. He was walking back to the residence after buying snacks at a nearby convenience store when he was shot in the chest during a confrontation with Zimmerman.
Because Sanford police initially failed to arrest Zimmerman, on grounds that he acted in self-defense and was protected by Florida's Stand Your Ground law, many saw the killing as an example of second-class treatment of black victims in the U.S. criminal justice system.
That set off civil rights rallies and cries of injustice across the United States throughout much of last year. It also threw a spotlight on gun use and Florida's controversial self-defense laws.
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