According to special prosecutor Angela Corey, George Zimmerman is currently in police custody.Â “Zimmerman will plead not guilty to the charges, according to his attorneys. He faces up to life in prison if convicted.
Zimmerman, who has been in hiding for weeks, and now is in police custody. Special prosecutor Angela Corey said during a news conference in Jacksonville, Fla., that she would not reveal where Zimmerman was out of concern for his safety. “He is within the custody of law enforcement officers in the state of Florida,” Corey said.
The murder charge indicates prosecutors plan to prove Zimmerman shot Martin with malice, though without premeditation. A manslaughter charge would have required prosecutors to prove only that Zimmerman acted unlawfully and with criminal negligence in shooting the teen.
“The difference between murder and manslaughter is your mental state,” said Mark Geragos, a Los Angeles defense attorney, who is not connected to the case. “To elevate it to murder, you have to have the element of malice.”
In Florida, a grand jury must be convened before issuing first-degree murder charges. On Monday, Corey announced that she would not convene a grand jury, which had been scheduled for Tuesday, in the Martin case.
Zimmerman, 28, shot and killed 17-year-old Martin Feb. 26 in a gated community in Sanford, Fla., where Martin was visiting his father and his father’s girlfriend. Zimmerman served as captain of the neighborhood watch and told police that he shot Martin in self-defense after the teen attacked him. Martin was unarmed at the time of his death, according to police.”
Several members of the hip-hop community are reacting to Wednesday’s arrest of George Zimmerman. Many artists took to Twitter to express their feelings, with both David Banner and Follow my homie Killer MikeÂ reminding fans that “this is only the beginning.”
Bun B tweeted that people need to “pray the judicial system works as it’s supposed to,” while Meek Mill said this week is going to be “real life hell” for Zimmerman.
Zimmerman reportedly became suspicious of the 17-year-old Martin as he walked through a gated community in Sanford, Florida. Zimmerman called 9-1-1, but by the time authorities arrived Martin had been shot and killed. Zimmerman claimed that he was forced to shoot the unarmed Martin in self-defense.