Zimmerman lawyer objects to 3rd degree murder consideration - ABC 33/40 - Birmingham News, Weather, Sports

Zimmerman lawyer objects to letting jury consider third-degree murder

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George Zimmerman's attorney strongly objected to a prosecution proposal that third-degree murder be included in the jury instructions.

Defense attorney Don West called the proposal "outrageous" on Thursday.  The proposal is premised on the idea that Zimmerman committed child abuse since 17-year-old Trayvon Martin was underage when he was fatally shot.

Judge Debra Nelson did not immediately rule on the proposal.  

She did, however, agree with the prosecution that jurors could consider manslaughter as a lesser charge.  West said he wanted the six jurors to only consider the second-degree murder charge or not guilty.

Closing arguments are scheduled for Thursday afternoon.  Each side will get three hours.  After the defense closing, prosecutors will have a chance for a rebuttal. The case should go to the jury some time Friday.

Zimmerman pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder. He claims he shot Martin in self-defense last year.


Click here to watch live coverage of the trial

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