Law enforcement source: Zimmerman will be charged


(CNN) — George Zimmerman, the neighborhood watch volunteer who says he shot Trayvon Martin in self-defense, “will be (criminally) charged, if he hasn’t been charged already,” a senior law enforcement source familiar with the investigation told CNN Wednesday.

The state attorney, Angela Corey, said she will present new information about the case at 6 p.m. Wednesday.

Martin, 17, was killed February 26 as he returned to his father’s fiancee’s house in Sanford after picking up candy and an iced tea at a nearby convenience store.

The news that Zimmerman will be charged came shortly after the Rev. Al Sharpton and the Martin family attorney called Wednesday for the public to remain peaceful, whatever the decision of the special prosecutor turns out to be.

“We do not condone or support in any way acts or language of violence,” Sharpton told his National Action Network’s 14th annual convention in Washington. “Trayvon Martin’s name must not be tarnished by those who are either for or against us with any reckless behavior, even verbally.”

He and Martin family attorney Benjamin Crump said Martin’s parents, Sybrina Fulton and Tracy Martin, have conducted themselves with dignity and set an example for others.

“Nobody can be hurting more than them,” Crump said. “Nobody can be more outraged than them.”

Corey said Tuesday she planned to release new information about the case within three days

Her announcement came the day that two lawyers who had been giving legal advice to Zimmerman, Craig Sonner and Hal Uhrig, told reporters that they had lost contact with their client and no longer represent him.

Phyllis Kotey, a former prosecutor in Florida, told CNN’s Brooke Baldwin that Corey may consider a second-degree murder or manslaughter charge.

“You really just want to weigh the evidence even though you all have all these very public things going on,” Kotey said. “It really shouldn’t be a political decision.”

A second-degree murder charge would look at whether the shooting was done with any kind of provocation and with possible reckless disregard for the safety of another human being.

“When you look at manslaughter … you are talking about an issue of culpable negligence,” Kotey said.

“One of the things you would look at would be the issue of how Zimmerman acted,” she said, “whether there was anything unlawful about his actions, in terms of continuing to pursue, continuing to go after an individual in a lawful place… perhaps whether a gun was pulled on an individual in a lawful place.”

CNN’s Martin Savidge contributed to this report.

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