State Attorney Angela Corey, right, held a news conference on charges to be brought against George Zimmerman in the Trayvon Martin shooting, in Jacksonville, Fla.
Special prosecutor Angela Corey says that the 28-year-old Zimmerman is in custody. She wouldn't disclose Zimmerman's whereabouts for his safety, but said that he will be in court within 24 hours.
Corey says that authorities did not come to the decision lightly, nor was it based on public pressure. A second-degree murder charge in Florida carries a maximum sentence of life in prison. It is typically charged when there is a fight or other confrontation that results in death and where there is no premeditated plan to kill someone.
Meanwhile, the parents of Trayvon Martin said charges against George Zimmerman in the fatal shooting their son would start the healing process, but they won't stop fighting until he's convicted.
His arrest had been delayed partly because of Florida's "stand your ground" law. The unarmed Martin, an African-American, was shot and killed in a gated community in Sanford, Fla., by neighborhood watchman Zimmerman, who claims he was acting in self-defense. In phone calls, Zimmerman told an emergency dispatcher that Martin looked suspicious, and he followed the teen despite the dispatcher's advice.
Zimmerman's lack of arrest in the case sparked nationwide protests by civil rights activists who claim race has been a factor in the investigation. Zimmerman's father is white and his mother is Hispanic.
Zimmerman had been in hiding for weeks, his former lawyers, Craig Sonner and Hal Uhrig, said Tuesday.
"George Zimmerman, in our opinion, and from information made available to us, is not doing well emotionally, probably suffering from post-traumatic stress syndrome," Uhrig said.
"George can't get in a car and drive down to some office center to go in and see the psychologist," Uhrig added. "There's a bounty out on his head, whether it's believed to be real or not, it's out there."