George Zimmerman, the neighborhood watch volunteer who shot and killed Florida teen Trayvon Martin in February, turned himself into authorities late yesterday after prosecutors announced he would face second-degree murder charges in a case that has sparked protests around the nation.
The announcement by state prosecutors came 46 days after local Sanford law enforcement decided not to charge Zimmerman in the shooting, citing Florida’s “stand your ground law.”
His attorney, Mark O’Mara, said Zimmerman would plead not guilty to the charge, the Washington Post reported. If convicted, Zimmerman could face a maximum sentence of life in prison under Florida law.
Martin’s parents applauded the arrest.
“We wanted nothing more, nothing less, we just wanted an arrest – and we got it,” Sybrina Fulton, Martin’s mother, said at a press conference on Wednesday. “And I say thank you. Thank you Lord, thank you Jesus.”
A hearing in the case is scheduled for Thursday afternoon.