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First-Degree Murder No Longer An Option In Trayvon Martin Case

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Trayvon Martin
Alex DeMetrick 370x278 Alex DeMetrick
Alex DeMetrick has been a general assignment reporter with WJZ...
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BALTIMORE (WJZ) — If the charge is murder, it won’t be in the first degree. That possibility was effectively eliminated in the killing of a Florida teen by a neighborhood watch member.

Alex DeMetrick has details of this newest twist in the Trayvon Martin case and reaction here and in Florida.

The prosecutor calls it a very complicated case and will not leave it up to a grand jury to decide.

From the night it happened, more questions than answers swirled around the shooting death of Trayvon Martin, killed while walking home by a Florida neighborhood watch member. It’s now certain the shooter, George Zimmerman, will not face first-degree murder charges.

It takes a grand jury to bring that charge and the prosecutor is not taking the case to that jury.

“I think if the public will be patient, they would understand this is a very complicated area of the law and we are going to make sure the public has all the answers they need,” said special prosecutor Angela Corey.

“We believe that if she applies the law to the evidence as we understand it to the facts that exist, then it is our expectation there will not be charges filed,” said Zimmerman’s lawyer, Hal Uhrig.

Zimmerman claims he fired in self-defense while in fear for his life. But a lot of people don’t believe that.

Monday night, outside St. John’s Baptist Church in Columbia, children rallied, while inside a prayer service was held for Martin, his family and developments in Florida.

“And the justice, like the cause, will shine like the noonday sun,” said one woman.

“Individuals, families, organizations are all concerned about what’s happening in Florida,” said St. John’s pastor Rev. Robert Turner.

“We’re waiting for the full investigation. We want to see not only the state investigation but the federal investigation,” said Senator Ben Cardin.

And people like Candace Dodson-Reed brought her 12-year-old daughter to the vigil to join others in the wait.

“I thought it was also important for her to see a group of people getting together to pray for a fair outcome,” Dodson-Reed said.

Even though first-degree murder is no longer an option, the special prosecutor can bring lesser charges, such as manslaughter.

No time frame has been set for the prosecution to announce its decision.

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