ORLANDO, Fla. – (AP) A grand jury Lanzamiento De Curso De Forex will not look into the Trayvon Martin case, a special prosecutor said Monday, leaving the decision of whether to charge the teen’s shooter in her hands alone and eliminating the possibility of a first-degree murder charge.
That prosecutor, Angela Corey, said her decision had no bearing on whether she would file charges against George Zimmerman, the neighborhood watch volunteer who has said he shot the unarmed black teen in self-defense. Corey could still decide to charge him with a serious felony such as manslaughter, which can carry a lengthy prison sentence if he is convicted.
A grand jury had been set to meet Tuesday, April 10, in Sanford, about 20 miles northeast of Orlando.
Corey has long had a reputation for not using grand juries if it wasn’t necessary. In Florida, only first-degree murder cases require the use of grand juries.
Corey’s decision means she doesn’t have to rely on potentially unpredictable jurors, said David Hill, an Orlando criminal defense attorney.
“Let’s give her the benefit of the doubt. Maybe she knows there isn’t enough for first-degree murder but she wants to maintain control and charge him with something else,” Hill said. “What does she need a grand jury for? She cuts out the unpredictability of the grand jury. She goes where she feels she has more evidence.”
Corey took over the case last month after the prosecutor who normally handles cases out of Sanford recused himself. That prosecutor, Norm Wolfinger, had originally called for the case to be presented before a grand jury.
“From the moment she was assigned, Ms. Corey noted she may not need a grand jury,” said a statement from Corey’s office.
Prosecutors sometimes use grand juries to avoid the political fallout from controversial cases. But Corey was elected by voters more than 100 miles away in the Jacksonville area, so political problems are less of an issue for Corey, Hill said.
Martin was killed Feb. 26 during a confrontation with Zimmerman in a gated community in Sanford.
Zimmerman has claimed self-defense, and Florida’s self-defense law gives wide leeway to use deadly force and eliminates a person’s duty to retreat in the face of danger.
Zimmerman’s attorney, Craig Sonner, said he didn’t want to comment on Corey’s decision.
An attorney for Martin’s parents said in a statement that he is not surprised by the decision to avoid the grand jury and hopes a decision is reached soon.
“The family has been patient throughout this process and asks that those who support them do the same during this very important investigation,” said attorney Benjamin Crump.
The case has led to protests across the nation and spurred a debate about race and the laws of self-defense. Martin was black; Zimmerman’s father is white and his mother is Hispanic.
On Monday, one protest led to the temporary closing of the Sanford Police Department offices to the public for most of the day as about a half dozen student activists blocked the building entrance.
Police officers took no action to remove the protesters, who were part of a group of students who marched from Daytona Beach to Sanford over the weekend.
Citizens wanting to do business with the police department were directed to City Hall.
Calling themselves “the Dream Defenders,” the protesters demanded Zimmerman’s arrest; a special investigation into the Sanford Police Department; a community meeting; and the firing of the city manager and the police chief who temporarily stepped down after Martin’s death, Bill Lee. Darren Scott, a 23-year veteran of the Sanford Police Department, was named acting chief. Lee is still employed with the department and receiving his salary.
After meeting with six of the protesters, city officials agreed only to a community forum next week.
Marches carry on in Mississippi
The city of Starkville, home to MSU, was the latest Mississippi municipality to voice their disappointment in the handling of the Trayvon Martin case. On Saturday, April 7, students and residents alike took to the streets in support of Martin’s family and to raise awareness that prejudice still exists.
Mississippi’s capital city also held rallies including one, earlier this month, by a national brotherhood of black men calling for justice for the Florida teen.
Thousands of members of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Incorporated were in Jackson April 1 for their annual seventh district meeting, WLBT reported. It was the 75th conference for members living in Mississippi, Alabama, Florida and Georgia.
The Omegas held a food giveaway and distributed food to more than 800 needy local families.
“We also gave 390 school books to Johnson Elementary School for their elementary students to be able to read over the summer…We also gave ACT prep books to Lanier High School to better prepare their seniors,” said Omega Psi Phi 7th District Representative David Marion.
The organization’s seventh district represents 142 chapters with more than 5,000 members.
On March 25, thousands gathered at the steps of Jackson City Hall protesting the investigation into the Martin’s death.
Ward 6 councilman Tony Yarber organized the rally and many stood in solidarity wearing hoodies as the Martin did while walking unarmed in the gated Florida complex. People young and old wore what has quickly become a symbol of a movement that has spread nationwide.
“Justice needs to be done,” protestor James Hopkins told WLBT. “I think that the biggest problem I have is being a suspect just because you’re black. A hoodie doesn’t make you a suspect. Crimes make you suspects.”
Residents and children in Grenada County also marched on March 25.
Three days later on March 28, chants of “we shall overcome” and “we want justice” filled the air on the campus of Tougaloo College.
Attorneys for George Zimmerman said Zimmerman has launched a personal website asking supporters for money for his living expenses and legal fees since he is in hiding and can not work.