The search for the panel of six jurors and four alternates who will decide the fate of George Zimmerman, a 29-year-old former crime watch volunteer facing a second-degree murder charge in Seminole County, continues Tuesday.
Trayvon Martin, an unarmed 17-year-old from Miami Gardens, had been visiting his father in Sanford, Fla. when Zimmerman fatally shot him. It took police 44 days to make an arrest. Zimmerman claimed he killed the Dr. Michael M. Krop High School student in self-defense and entered a not guilty plea.
After six days of the initial round of interviews -- which focused on the influence of the heightened media attention -- attorneys were moving closer to finding 40 finalists. Judge Debra Nelson asked 40 serving jury duty to return to the courtroom Tuesday and 10 to return Wednesday.
"I know it's slow-going to the outside, but it's not slow-going to the inside," defense attorney Mark O'Mara said. "I think it's working out pretty well."
Most of the potential jurors chosen were mothers and grandmothers who were likely to empathize with the African-American teen, who died Feb. 26, 2012 in a Sanford gated townhouse community.
The next phase of questioning should begin this week. For their protection, the potential jurors will only be identified by letter and number during the trial, said Court spokeswoman Michelle Kennedy. The judge has yet to determined how long after the verdict their identities will kept secret.
Most of the women attorneys questioned showed empathy toward Trayvon’s mother Sybrina Fulton, who has been in courtroom since the trial started June 10. Others said they were concerned about the safety of their teens after they heard the news.
Mother relies on old TV antenna
(B76 is a white woman)
During questioning June 10, the court identified the white woman who appeared to be middle-aged, as potential juror B76. She relies on an over-the-air antenna to get local TV news.
She said Zimmerman was a security guard. He was not. She also said her daughter wondered why a kid would be out late at night getting candy. Zimmerman called police at 7:09 p.m.
The woman who has lived in Sanford for decades said Zimmerman had an "altercation with the young man. There was a struggle and the gun went off."
Animal lover has dogs, cats, parrot, lizard
(B37 is a white woman)
The unidentified woman said newspapers are more useful in her parrot cage.
"It's a lot better use," she said. "I just don't think they're truthful."
She added she doesn’t like to read the news, and only uses the Internet to look for recipes. The mother of two adult daughters also said she took care of three dogs, four cats and had recently rescued a lizard.
"I have no time to do anything other than feed my animals," she said.
During questioning June 11, attorneys identified her as potential juror B37. When she is not taking care of her pets, she works for a chiropractor.
She described protests in Sanford as "rioting" and Trayvon as “a boy of color.”
Mother: My sons poked fun at Trayvon’s Skittles
(B86 is a white woman)
The mother of two sons ages 20 and 21 said that when her family heard the news about Trayvon’s death there was laughter.