Trayvon Martin Murder Trial Live Stream: Prosecution Gives Fiery Closing Arguments, Zimmerman Defense Presents Today [VIDEO]
[UPDATE: 7.12.2013, 10:30 a.m.] The Zimmerman trial is in its final chapter, as the defense presents its closing arguments today. George Zimmerman's lead defense attorney Mark O'Mara will present his final case for Zimmerman's innocence.
"The reality of what happened is very straight forward, and it proves absolute innocence," O'Mara said to the jury Friday morning. "He's not guilty of anything but protecting his own life," O'Mara said of Zimmerman. Earlier today, O'Mara held up photos of Zimmerman's injuries following his encounter with 17-year-old Trayvon Martin last February, and told the jury to consider them when deciding Zimmerman's fate.
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On Thursday, the prosecution presented its closing arguments to the Sanford, Fla. courtroom. Lead prosecutor Bernie de la Rionda said Thursday that Zimmerman's "assumptions" about Martin caused him to follow the unarmed teen and inevitably led to the violent encounter that ensued.
"A teenager is dead," de la Rionda said. "He's dead not just because the man made those assumptions, but because he acted on those assumptions and unfortunately, because his assumptions were wrong, Trayvon Benjamin Martin no longer walks on this Earth."
De la Rionda highlighted Zimmerman's desire to be a cop, and that the neighborhood watch volunteer assumed Martin was a criminal.
Watch the defense's closing arguments live here:
The Trayvon Martin murder trial involving 29-year-old neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman is coming to a head this week. All witnesses in the Zimmerman trial have been presented to the court, and the defense wrapped up its case Wednesday in Seminole County, Fla.
Zimmerman faces second-degree murder charges for the Feb. 2012 shooting of 17-year-old Martin. The case is slated to be handed over to the all-female, six-member jury as early as Friday afternoon. During the duration of the Zimmerman trial, the jury has been sequestered. They have been allowed very little contact with the outside world, and have not been permitted to go home on weekends.
Throughout the trial, the defense has maintained that Zimmerman acted in self defense when he shot and killed Martin. The prosecution argued that Zimmerman followed Martin because the teen was black and that he profiled Martin for his skin color.
The defense recognized that "what George did was an intentional act that he knew he was pulling the trigger, the reason why he did it was self-defense and that doesn't suggest the manslaughter charge would be appropriate," Zimmerman's lead attorney, Mark O'Mara, said Wednesday.
Earlier today, day 13 of the Zimmerman trial, the defense and prosecution sparred over whether or not to include a number of lesser charges against Zimmerman for the jury to consider. Up until now, Zimmerman has been charged on the sole indictment of second-degree murder. But the state would like to add a number of other charges, including manslaughter and third-degree felony murder, to their list of charges the jury should consider.
Judge Debra Nelson ruled that Zimmerman could still be convicted of manslaughter if the jury could not come to an agreement on a verdict for the second-degree murder charge. She has not made a decision regarding the state's request that juror's be allowed to consider a felony murder charge based on child abuse.
"Just when I thought this case couldn't get any more bizarre, the state is seeking third degree murder charges based on child abuse?" defense counsel Don West said after the prosecution's request. "It's outrageous that the state would seek to do this at this point."
O'Mara told reporters Wednesday after resting his case that the jury should only be allowed to consider the second-degree murder charge brought by prosecutors against Zimmerman. If jurors do not convict Zimmerman for murder, then he should be acquitted, O'Mara said, because the shooting on Feb. 26, 2012 was intentional and not an act of manslaughter.
Watch the closing arguments in the Trayvon Martin murder trial here. The Zimmerman trial live stream is below, via local Florida coverage:
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