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George Zimmerman To Be Charged In Trayvon Martin Shooting: Report (UPDATE)

The Huffington Post  |  By Posted: 04/11/2012 2:06 pm Updated: 04/12/2012 12:59 pm

George Zimmerman Charged

UPDATE: George Zimmerman has been charged with second-degree murder in the shooting of Trayvon Martin, the special prosecutor for the case announced. He is currently being held in custody after turning himself in to authorities.

PREVIOUSLY: George Zimmerman will reportedly be charged in the shooting of Trayvon Martin, according to the Washington Post. NBC News confirms the report.

On Tuesday night, Florida special prosecutor Angela Corey told reporters that she would hold a news conference with an announcement on the case within 72 hours. According to a law enforcement official close to the investigation, Corey's office plans to announce that she is charging the neighborhood watch volunteer at a press conference Wednesday at 6 p.m., and an arrest is expected soon. It was not made clear what specific charges Zimmerman would face. ABC reports that investigators still don't know Zimmerman's whereabouts.

The news of the impending announcement came shortly after a bizarre press conference in which Zimmerman's lawyers said they no longer represent him, claiming he has repeatedly rebuffed their legal advice and that they had lost contact with him.

"As of now we are withdrawing as counsel for Mr. Zimmerman," Craig Sonner, one of his attorneys, told reporters outside the Seminole County Courthouse in Sanford, Fla. "He's gone on his own. I'm not sure what he's doing or who he's talking to, but at this point we're withdrawing as counsel. If he wants us to come back as counsel, he will contact us."

Protesters around the country have held rallies calling for Zimmerman's arrest, and a fringe group put a $10,000 bounty on his head, prompting him to go into hiding over concerns that he is in physical danger.

Although Sonner maintained that Zimmerman was "still in the United States," Hal Uhrig, another of Zimmerman's former attorneys, said that Zimmerman was not in the state where the fatal confrontation took place.

"You can stop looking in Florida," he told reporters. "Look much further away than that."

Zimmerman said he killed Trayvon Martin, an unarmed 17-year-old, on Feb. 26 in the gated community where the girlfriend of the teenager's father lived in Sanford. Zimmerman, a neighborhood watch volunteer, called 911 and told a police dispatcher that Martin, who was returning from a trip to a nearby convenience store, "looked suspicious." After an altercation, Zimmerman shot Martin in the chest. He told the local police that he shot Martin in self-defense, and was not arrested or charged.

Corey announced earlier this week that she would not convene a grand jury in the case. Experts familiar with Corey's background say she has a reputation for avoiding grand juries in cases in which they are unnecessary. Under Florida law, murder charges can only be issued by a grand jury. Zimmerman may face other charges in the shooting death, including manslaughter and assault.

Both of Zimmerman's former lawyers said they stood by their previous comments on the case and maintain that Zimmerman was acting in self-defense.

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  • Trayvon Martin

    This family photo taken at age 12 was one of the first images used when Trayvon Martin's death made national news.

  • Trayvon Martin

    This image of Trayvon was submitted to news outlets by the Martin family.

  • Trayvon Martin

    The Martin family also shared this photo of Trayvon in a Pop Warner football jersey. According to <a href="http://www.bet.com/news/national/2012/03/16/the-cruel-fatethat-came-to-an-average-kid-trayvon-martin.html" target="_hplink">BET,</a> Trayvon had a passion for football basketball, baseball and horseback riding.

  • Trayvon Martin

    This image of a young Trayvon Martin was also submitted by the Martin family and widely used in the media. As the story gained national attention, there was a push to find updated photos that accurately depicted the teen at the time of the killing.

  • Trayvon Martin

    This photo of Trayvon in a hooded sweatshirt became <a href="http://www.newsday.com/long-island/suffolk/trayvon-martin-rally-in-north-amityville-1.3648463?qr=1" target="_hplink">a signature image</a> used in rallies across the nation. The hooded sweatshirt became a political symbol for Trayvon supporters who wanted to show solidarity. The Miami Heat <a href="http://www.thegrio.com/specials/trayvon-martin/miami-heat-players-pose-in-hoodies-to-support-trayvon-martin.php" target="_hplink">tweeted a photo of the team donning hooded sweatshirts</a> in support of the Martin family, and <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/03/28/trayvon-martin-rep-bobby-rush-house-floor-hoodie_n_1385258.html" target="_hplink">Rep. Bobby Rush (D-Ill.) was thrown off the House floor</a> for wearing a hooded sweatshirt in the teen's honor.

  • Trayvon Martin

    This photo was posted by <a href="http://dailycaller.com/2012/03/26/the-daily-caller-obtains-trayvon-martins-tweets/" target="_hplink">the Daily Caller</a> via Trayvon Martin's Twitter profile. Conservative bloggers used this photo and a series of the 17-year-old's tweets to build <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/03/29/white-supremacist-trayvon-martin-email_n_1389584.html">a smear campaign</a> against the teen. A much-circulated <a href="http://www.slate.com/blogs/weigel/2012/03/27/when_in_doubt_smear_the_dead_kid.html" target="_hplink">photo</a> of a grimacing teen with his middle finger extended -- that many right-leaning sites suggested was the Trayvon Martin the "mainstream media" did not want the public to see -- was circulated on the white supremacist site <a href="http://stormfront.org" target="_hplink">stormfront.org</a>, in an attempt to portray Martin as a hoodlum.

  • Trayvon Martin

    This photo has been widely used in an attempt to more accurately depict an older Trayvon Martin.

  • George Zimmerman

    This photo of George Zimmerman at 28 was <a href="http://articles.orlandosentinel.com/2012-03-23/news/os-trayvon-martin-george-zimmerman-job-20120323_1_robert-zimmerman-source-new-details" target="_hplink">obtained by the Orlando Sentinel</a> after one of Zimmerman's co-workers spoke to the newspaper and submitted the image. The unnamed co-worker told the newspaper that Zimmerman was an employee at the Maitland office of Digital Risk, LLC, a mortgage risk-management firm.

  • George Zimmerman

    Taken in 2005 at age 22, this is Zimmerman's mug shot from Orange County (Fla.) Jail. <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/03/09/george-zimmerman-trayvon-martin_n_1335984.html?1331340352" target="_hplink">He was arrested and charged</a> with resisting a police officer with violence and battery to a law enforcement officer.

  • George Zimmerman

    This screenshot, of <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/03/28/trayvon-martin-police-video_n_1386764.html" target="_hplink">a video obtained by ABC News</a>, shows Zimmerman at the Sanford Police Department the night of the fatal confrontation. In the video, Zimmerman shows minimal signs of scars and bruises, seemingly inconsistent with <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/03/26/trayvon-martin-case-georg_n_1381322.html?">his account</a> of his violent struggle with Trayvon Martin. ABC News later released an <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/04/02/trayvon-martin-case-enhan_n_1397022.html" target="_hplink">enhanced video</a> showing signs of injury on Zimmerman's head.

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