The jury in George Zimmerman's murder trial began a second day of deliberations Saturday morning, weighing whether the neighborhood watch volunteer committed a crime almost a year and a half ago when he fatally shot Trayvon Martin.
Jurors reconvened in the courtroom at 9 a.m. Saturday. A few smiled as the judge addressed them before they left the courtroom to continue their discussions.
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.
To win a manslaughter conviction, prosecutors must show only that Zimmerman killed without lawful justification.
Zimmerman faces a maximum prison sentence of life for second-degree murder and 30 years if convicted of manslaughter, due to extra sentencing guidelines for committing a crime with a gun.
The sequestered jury of six women — all but one of them white — must sort through conflicting testimony from police, neighbors, friends and family members.
Jurors deliberated for three and a half hours when they decided to stop Friday evening. About two hours into their discussions, they asked for a list of the evidence. Their identities are being kept anonymous — they are identified only by number — but they revealed information about themselves during jury selection.
— B-51 is retired, not married and doesn't have kids. She has worked in real estate and run a call center where she said she had experience resolving conflicts.
— B-29 recently moved to central Florida from Chicago. She works as a nurse on an Alzheimer's section of a nursing home. She is married and has several children. A prosecutor described her as "black or Hispanic" during jury selection.
— B-76 is a white woman who has lived in central Florida for 18 years. She manages rental properties with her husband of 30 years. She has two adult children.
— B-37 is a white woman who volunteers rescuing animals. She is married to an attorney and has two adult children.
— E-6 is married and has two children. She has worked in financial services and is active in her church.
— E-40 works as a safety officer and recently moved to Seminole County from Iowa.
(Copyright 2013 Associated Press.)
People across Eastern Carolina, just like all over the country, are waiting to see the outcome of the George Zimmerman second degree murder trial in Florida.
Zimmerman, a neighborhood watch volunteer, is charged with shooting and killing unarmed teenager Trayvon Martin. Zimmerman claims the shooting was in self-defense.
Jurors deliberated several hours Friday before adjourning for the night. Deliberations are scheduled to resume Saturday morning.
WITN talked with residents in Eastern Carolina who say they have been watching the case.
Joshua Branch told us, "I think it's going to take a while. It's probably manslaughter. I don't think he went out there with the intention on killing anyone."
Dennis Suggs told us, "It just seems sort of open and shut to me. Whether it's manslaughter or second degree or third degree, whatever it may be, you know, he killed the young man for no reason."
Be sure to stay with WITN-TV and WITN.COM for updates.