ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) - Prosecutors are revealing some of what went into their decision to charge George Zimmerman with second-degree murder in the shooting death of unarmed teenager Trayvon Martin. Zimmerman made his first, brief appearance before a Florida judge this morning.
In a probable cause affidavit, prosecutors say they interviewed a friend of Martin's who was talking to him by phone just before the shooting. The affidavit says Martin told the friend that he was being followed and was scared. It says Martin tried to run home, but that Zimmerman got out of his car and followed him. It says he "disregarded the police dispatcher" who told him not to follow Martin.
The Orlando Sentinel newspaper is reporting the details of the affidavit. The newspaper says it obtained the document before it was expected to be filed with the courthouse. According to the newspaper, the affidavit says Martin's mother identified screams heard in the background of a 911 call as her son's. There had been some question as to whether Martin or Zimmerman was the one calling for help.
Special prosecutor Angela Corey says that the decision to charge the 28-year-old Zimmerman did not come to the decision lightly, nor was it based on public pressure. The charge carries a maximum sentence of life in prison.
Second-degree murder is typically charged when there is a fight or other confrontation that results in death and where there is no premeditated plan to kill someone.
(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)