SANFORD, Fla. -

Judge decides sentencing after jury verdict, jurors are not instructed on penalties in Florida. State's closing arguments will begin shortly. 


George Zimmerman is facing 2nd degree murder for the shooting death of Trayvon Martin. The Sanford neighborhood watch coordinator said he shot and killed the unarmed Miami Gardens 17-year-old in self defense following a scuffle. 

During this morning's charging conference the state asked Judge Debra Nelson to allow jurors to also consider manslaughter as a lesser included offense. As was expected, the Judge agreed. 

The state also argued to add felony third degree murder as a second lesser included with the underlying felony being child abuse since Trayvon Martin was under the age of 18. Defense co-counsel Don West called the request "outrageous" and a "trick". Assistant State Attorney Richard Mantei argued the "intentional" act to support felony child abuse was Zimmerman firing the gun. He said this case was about whether Zimmmerman's use of deadly force was justifiable but not if intentional. The Judge disagreed and denied state's request to include third degree murder.


George Zimmerman is facing 2nd degree murder for the shooting death of Trayvon Martin. The Sanford neighborhood watch coordinator said he shot and killed the unarmed Miami Gardens 17-year-old in self defense following a scuffle. 

During this morning's charging conference the state asked Judge Debra Nelson to allow jurors to also consider manslaughter as a lesser included offense. As was expected, the Judge agreed. 

The state also argued to add felony third degree murder as a second lesser included with the underlying felony being child abuse since Trayvon Martin was under the age of 18. Defense co-counsel Don West called the request "outrageous" and a "trick."

Assistant State Attorney Richard Mantei argued the "intentional" act to support felony child abuse was Zimmerman firing the gun. He said this case was about whether Zimmmerman's use of deadly force was justifiable but not if intentional. The Judge disagreed and denied state's request to include third degree murder.