UPDATE –Jacksonville, FL — George Zimmerman has been charged with second-degree murder in the shooting of Trayvon Martin. He is currently being held in custody after turning himself in to authorities.
On Thursday Zimmerman Made his First Court Appearance. No Plea was entered and arraignment was set for May 29th.
“We did not come to this decision lightly,” Angela Corey, the special prosecutor appointed by Florida Gov. Rick Scott to re-examine the case, said at a news conference in Jacksonville, Fla. Corey had previously announced that she wouldn’t take the case to a grand jury, which took first-degree murder off the table.
Corey said she decided last week to seek the charge but needed several days to make sure all details were in order. She said she had informed Martin’s parents, Tracy Martin and Sybrina Fulton.
Under Florida law, Zimmerman, 28, must be taken before a judge within 24 hours of his return to Seminole County, where he has acknowledged he shot and killed Martin, 17, in the town of Sanford on Feb. 26.
“He will be taken when it’s appropriate for the appropriate appearance before a judge,” said Corey, who wouldn’t say where Zimmerman was being held to protect his safety.
Zimmerman is being represented by Mark O’Mara, an Orlando lawyer and former prosecutor, after his previous attorneys said Tuesday that they had lost touch with their client and were withdrawing from the case.
Authorities in Sanford — began preparing early in the day for public reaction to the announcement. Several counties in the region activated their emergency operations centers and were on heightened alert, NBC News’ Kerry Sanders reported from Sanford, while Seminole County sheriff’s deputies spent Wednesday morning setting up barricades along the booking area for new inmates at the county jail.