George Zimmerman, far right, stands for the judge arrival with, from left, assistant state attorney John Guy, defense attorney Mark O'Mara and co-defense counsel Don West in Seminole Circuit Court in Sanford, Florida, June 24, 2013.
George Zimmerman, far right, stands for the judge arrival with, from left, assistant state attorney John Guy, defense attorney Mark O’Mara and co-defense counsel Don West in Seminole Circuit Court in Sanford, Florida, June 24, 2013.

A closely watched U.S. trial has opened for a neighborhood-watch volunteer charged in the shooting death of a black teenager last year in Florida.

Defendant George Zimmerman has pled not guilty to second-degree murder, claiming self-defense in shooting 17-year-old Trayvon Martin.

In his opening statement, the prosecutor said Zimmerman thought Martin was about to commit a crime solely because he was a black man. He said Zimmerman, a Hispanic, followed Martin through his neighborhood, confronted him, and then fatally shot him during a fight.

Zimmerman said he feared for his life because the teenager attacked him and was trying to take his gun.

The case has attracted widespread attention in the United States becaue Zimmerman was charged 44 days after the shooting. The delay in the arrest prompted protests nationwide.

Comments

comments

SHARE
Previous articleU.S. government fights fat with cash, but does it work?
Next articleSnowden’s Whereabouts Unclear
The Voice of America, which first went on the air in 1942, is an international multimedia broadcasting service funded by the U.S. government through the Broadcasting Board of Governors. VOA broadcasts approximately 1,500 hours of news, information, educational, and cultural programming every week to an estimated worldwide audience of 125 million people. See http://www.VOANews.com