Sanford, FL - Special Prosecutor Will Charge George Zimmerman
Florida special prosecutor Angela Corey plans to announce as early as Wednesday afternoon that she is charging neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman in the shooting of Trayvon Martin, according to a law enforcement official close to the investigation.
It was not immediately clear what charge Zimmerman will face.
Martin, 17 and unarmed, was shot and killed Feb. 26 by Zimmerman, who said he was acting in self-defense. Police in Sanford, Fla., where the shooting took place, did not charge Zimmerman, citing the state’s “stand your ground” law.
Corey told reporters Tuesday night that she would hold a news conference about the case within 72 hours. A news release from her office said the event will be held in Sanford or Jacksonville, Fla.
Benjamin Crump, who is representing the Martin family, said this week that Corey’s office had asked where Trayvon’s parents would be each day this week. They arrived Wednesday in Washington for a civil rights conference organized by the Rev. Al Sharpton, where they spoke to reporters.
Sabryna Fulton and Tracy Martin, Trayvon’s parents, said they would not comment on the charges because they had not been personally notified. They scheduled a press conference for 5 :15 p.m.
Earlier reports that Zimmerman’s lawyers said they did not know where he was did not bother Trayvon’s parents, they said.
“We do have faith in the justice system. When it is time to arrest him, they will find him,” Fulton said.
The announcement of a charge against Zimmerman would come a day after Zimmerman’s attorneys withdrew from the case, citing their inability to contact Zimmerman.
Lawyers Craig Sonner and Hal Uhrig on Tuesday expressed concern about Zimmerman’s emotional and physical well-being, saying he has taken actions without consulting them. They also said they do not know where Zimmerman is.
“You can stop looking in Florida,” Uhrig told reporters. “Look much further away than that.”
Corey said Monday that she would not bring the case before a grand jury, which was expected to convene this week. She said her decision to forgo the grand jury should not be viewed as an indication of whether charges will be filed.
Corey has indicated in recent weeks that she might not need a grand jury to bring charges against Zimmerman.
The lawyers said they stand by their assertions that Zimmerman acted in self-defense when he killed the 17-year-old, who was unarmed, but they acknowledged that they formed their impressions without meeting Zimmerman.