George Zimmerman Trial Live Updates: Jury Selection Almost Complete

06/19/2013 08:28 am ET | Updated Jun 19, 2013
  • David Lohr Senior Crime Reporter, The Huffington Post

The first phase of jury selection in the trial of George Zimmerman concluded Tuesday with 40 prospective jurors cleared for further questioning in the high-profile second-degree murder trial.

Among the 40 jurors who have made it this far, 24 are women and 16 are men. Twenty-seven are white, seven are African-American, three are mixed race and three are Hispanic. The pool skews toward middle-aged candidates.

Zimmerman, 29, stands charged in the death of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin. Zimmerman shot and killed Martin as the teen was walking back to the home of his father's fiancee from a Sanford, Fla., convenience store on Feb. 26, 2012.

Defense attorneys argue that Zimmerman, then 28, while serving as a neighborhood watch volunteer, was attacked by Martin, and acted in self-defense when he shot the teen. Prosecutors have deemed Martin's death an instance of second-degree murder.

All 40 of the prospective jurors have admitted to some knowledge of the case. Ultimately, attorneys for both sides want to ensure that each member of the jury panel can be fair and impartial.

When the final stage of jury selection begins today, the defense and prosecution will be able to strike 10 members of the pool without cause.

Six impartial jurors and four alternates are needed for the trial to move forward. In Florida, 12 jurors are required only for criminal trials that could result in the death penalty. Zimmerman faces life in prison if found guilty.

The trial is scheduled to resume at 9 a.m. EST.

Read below for minute-by-minute updates from court Wednesday:

The Huffington Post is live blogging Wednesday's testimony. Check back here for updates.

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