George Zimmerman Gun: 9mm Pistol Used In Fatal Shooting Is Returned To Neighborhood Watch Volunteer Acquitted Of Murder [PHOTO]
George Zimmerman's gun, the same firearm he used to shoot 17-year-old Trayvon Martin in Feb. 2012, will be returned to him following the former neighborhood watch volunteer's acquittal. The Kel Tec 9mm Pistol, which has been in evidence since the night of the shooting, was presented as an exhibit during the three-week murder trial. George Zimmerman's gun is a compact, semi-automatic handgun.
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The trial of Zimmerman for the 2012 murder of unarmed teen Martin came to an end this past weekend. Around 10 p.m. Saturday night, the six-person, all-woman jury delivered their not guilty verdict in Sanford, Fla. They found 29-year-old Zimmerman innocent of both second-degree murder and manslaughter. Zimmerman walked away from the courtroom a free man, and George Zimmerman's gun will be returned to him.
According to Zimmerman's lawyer, the former neighborhood watch volunteer needs his firearm "even more" than before.
"I think that he feels truly in his heart that if he did not have that weapon that night he might not be here.... [He] would have continued to get beat even though he was screaming for help." Zimmerman's defense attorney Mark O'Mara told ABC News.
He added: "[There's] even more reason now, isn't there? There are a lot of people out there who actually hate him, though they shouldn't."
After the verdict was handed down Saturday night, riots and protests erupted across the nation. Thousands of people who believe the outcome of the trial was unfair demonstrated in Florida on Sunday. Zimmerman fears retaliation from rogue justice seekers, and is taking precautions against attacks. According to the New York Daily News, Zimmerman wears disguises and a bulletproof vest when he goes out into public. He is also entitled to rearm himself, given Florida's loose gun control regulations. Zimmerman's concealed-carry permit, however, is still in Jeopardy, as this is a different statue and will have to be sorted out with another department of the state.
Much of the George Zimmerman trial hinged on the prosecution proving Zimmerman's intent when he exited his vehicle, loaded gun at his side, and pursued Martin. Throughout the trial, the prosecution attempted to show that Zimmerman profiled Martin, who was black, and gunned him down because he wanted to.
"In order for the state to have secured a conviction, they had the burden of proving that Mr. Zimmerman either intended to kill Trayvon or that he had a complete disregard for his life," legal expert William Birmingham told the International Business Times.
Ultimately, the jury did not think Zimmerman was guilty of second-degree murder, which would have had to show that the 29-year-old had a "depraved mind" and "ill intent."
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