George Zimmerman turned himself into the police Wednesday and is now being charged with second degree murder in the shooting of unarmed teen, Trayvon Martin. According to ABC News, Zimmerman will appear in court this afternoon to ask a judge to be freed on bail. However, legal experts say it is doubtful a judge will set a bond for him.
The special prosecutor assigned to the case, Angela Corey, announced the charges against Zimmerman at a news conference held in Jacksonville.
"We did not come to this decision lightly," Corey said at the conference, MSNBC reports.
According to MSNBC, Corey said she decided to seek the charge last week but needed several days to make sure all the details were in order. However, she did inform Martin’s parents, Tracy Martin and Sybrina Fulton.
Martin’s family expressed gratitude and satisfaction when hearing of the announcement that Zimmerman was arrested and is in custody, according to Fox News.
"We simply wanted an arrest; we wanted nothing more, nothing less," the teen’s mother said Wednesday.
Many observers were surprised by the charge of second degree murder, expecting a lesser charge of manslaughter, reports ABC News. If convicted, Zimmerman will face a minimum of 25 years in prison and a maximum of life. To get a murder conviction, Corey will have to prove that Martin’s death was not an accident or mistake, but that significant negligence was involved.
Zimmerman who claims to have fired in self-defense after Martin attacked him, will be pleading not guilty. According to CNN, he is worried about getting a fair trial in Sanford where thousands of protesters have gathered calling for his arrest. However, his new defense attorney Mack O’Mara does not share these concerns.
"Florida has a very good process in place to make sure we get a fair and impartial jury," Mara told CNN. "Other high-profile cases have been able to do so. I trust that the system, the judge, the prosecutor and I will be able to, should the need arise, to get ourselves a fair and impartial jury to hear the case.”
Zimmerman’s initial hearing is scheduled for Thursday at 1:30 p.m.