The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

State and Nation

July 13, 2013

Zimmerman jury continues 2nd day of deliberations

— SANFORD, Fla. (AP) — The jury in George Zimmerman's murder trial continued its second day of deliberations Saturday, weighing whether the neighborhood watch volunteer committed a crime almost a year and a half ago when he fatally shot Trayvon Martin.

Jurors reconvened Saturday morning, deliberated for three hours and then broke for lunch. They resumed their discussions about 1 p.m.

Meanwhile, about two dozen people gathered outside the courthouse awaiting a verdict, with supporters of the Martin family outnumbering those there for Zimmerman. One man held a sign that read, "We love you George." A woman lay in the grass in a hoodie, her arms spread, in a re-creation of Martin's death.

On Twitter, Martin's mother, Sybrina Fulton, shared what she called her favorite Bible verse: "Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight."

On Friday afternoon, as the jury began deliberations, police and civic leaders in this Orlando suburb went on national television to plead for calm in Sanford and across the country if Zimmerman, who identifies himself as Hispanic, is acquitted. Martin was black.

"There is no party in this case who wants to see any violence," Seminole County Sheriff Don Eslinger said. "We have an expectation upon this announcement that our community will continue to act peacefully."

Last year, people protested in Sanford and across the country last year when authorities waited 44 days before arresting Zimmerman.

Zimmerman, 29, is charged with second-degree murder, but the jury also is allowed to consider manslaughter.

The judge's decision to allow that consideration was a potentially heavy blow to the defense: It could give jurors who aren't convinced the shooting amounted to murder a way to hold Zimmerman responsible for the killing.

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