By Michael Winter, USA TODAY
Florida State Attorney Angela Corey will hold a 6 p.m. ET news conference today regarding the shooting death of Trayvon Martin, and the Associated Press is reporting that she will announce charges against George Zimmerman, the 28-year-old neighborhood-watch volunteer who has claimed he shot the 17-year-old in self-defense Feb. 26 in Sanford, Fla.
The unidentified law enforcement source who spoke to AP did not know the exact charge or charges that Corey is expected to announce at the State Attorney’s Office in Jacksonville. Zimmerman is also expected to be arrested soon, AP said.
Zimmerman has been in hiding and not spoken publicly since the shooting. Tuesday, two attorneys withdrew as his counsel after they learned he had contacted Corey’s office and media without their knowledge. They said they had lost contact with him Sunday.
Monday, Zimmerman launched a website to collect donations he said would be used “only for living expenses and legal defense.”
TIMELINE: The Trayvon Martin case
Update at 3:37 p.m. ET: Before special prosecutor Angela Corey announced her news conference, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder pledged that a federal civil rights inquiry into Trayvon’s death would be “a thorough and independent review of the evidence,” USA TODAY’s Kevin Johnson says.
“Although I cannot share where current efforts will lead us from here,” Holder said in a speech to the National Action Network, a civil rights group that has been calling for an arrest in the case. “I can assure you that, in this investigation — and in all cases — we will examine the facts and the law. If we find evidence of a potential federal criminal civil rights crime, we will take appropriate action. And at every step, the facts and the law will guide us forward.”
“I also can make you another promise: that at every level of today’s Justice Department — preventing and combating youth violence and victimization is, and will continue to be, a top priority,” Holder said, calling Trayvon “a young man whose future has been lost to the ages.”
The Justice Department launched an investigation of the killing three weeks ago.
Original post by Douglas Stanglin:
Update at 3:08 p.m. ET: Trayvon Martin’s parents, in Washington to attend the National Action Network convention, say they are “confident” in criminal justice system and are appealing for a peaceful reaction to whatever decision is announced by the Florida special prosecutor, USA TODAY’s Kevin Johnson reports.
“It’s been a nightmare for 44 days,” says Sybrina Fulton, the slain teenager’s mother, referring to the time since her son was killed. “God is holding me up and keeping me … I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that justice will be served.”
Rev. Al Sharpton, president and founder of NAN, which has been leading a series of protests in wake of Martin’s death, is calling for calm in anticipation of the prosecutor’s decision.
“Trayvon Martin’s name must not be tarnished,” Sharpton says. “We denounce anything other than non-violence. We are not in the business of revenge. We are in the business of justice.”
Update at 2:38 p.m. ET: The Associated Press quotes a law enforcement official as saying that charges will filed in the Trayvon Martin shooting case and that an announcement will be made at 6 pm. ET today.
Update at 2:34 p.m. ET: CNN reports that Corey will hold a news conference within the next four hours to release information on the case.
Update at 2:23 p.m. ET: NBC News reports that criminal charges will be filed against Zimmerman.