SANFORD, Fla., (UPI) — A prosecutor in the Florida case against the neighborhood watch volunteer accused of killing Trayvon Martin said it may be tough to get a conviction.
State Attorney Angela Corey, the lead prosecutor in the case against George Zimmerman, pointed to Florida’s “stand-your-ground law,” which allows a person to use deadly force if attacked.
“The stand-your-ground law is one portion of justifiable use of deadly force,” Corey said told ABC News. “And what that means is that the state must go forward and be able to prove its case beyond a reasonable doubt. … So it makes the case in general more difficult than a normal criminal case.”
Zimmerman shot Martin, 17 and black, Feb. 26 after following him and telling police Martin looked suspicious because he was wearing a hoodie.
Zimmerman and Martin fought and Zimmerman fatally shot Martin.
The shooting and the fact Zimmerman has not been arrested or charged have brought widespread protest and outrage.
Zimmerman has claimed self-defense, and Craig Sonner, a lawyer representing him, told ABC News he would likely invoke the stand-your-ground law.
When Zimmerman fired the single shot into Martin’s chest, he thought “one of them was going to die that night,” Sonner said.
The U.S. Justice Department and the FBI are investigating the case as a possible hate crime.
ABC News said there’s enormous pressure from local and State authorities for Zimmerman’s arrest.
Corey said if Zimmerman is charged, it might not be for weeks.
Meanwhile, hundreds of students at Dr. Michael M. Krop Senior High, the school Martin attended, dressed in black Monday to protest, The Miami Herald reported.
Last week, students protested at more than 30 Miami-Dade schools and staged walkouts at about 10 schools in Broward County.