George Zimmerman, right, leaves the courtroom during a recess, with his attorney Mark O'Mara, in Seminole circuit court on the first day of his trial, in Sanford, Fla., Monday, June 10, 2013. (Credit: AP)
Closing arguments have ended in the case of George Zimmerman, the former neighborhood watch volunteer charged in the shooting death of Florida teen Trayvon Martin.
The jury is set to hear jury instructions from a judge after a lunch break. Once deliberations begin, they will weigh a second-degree murder charge against the 29-year-old, who shot Martin during a confrontation last year in a gated Sanford, Fla. community. Zimmerman is pleading not guilty, claiming he shot in self defense.
The panel of six women, which has been sequestered as the proceedings stretched into the end of their third week, will also weigh a lesser charge of manslaughter.
The panel will likely rely heavily on testimony - which was often conflicting - from police, neighbors, friends and family members. They will have to decide if they can determine who was yelling for help on a 911 call that recorded the shooting, and whether Zimmerman was a wannabe cop who took the law into his own hands or someone who was in a fight for his life, with his head being repeatedly slammed into the ground.
Aiming to prove that Florida teen Martin wasn't unarmed, defense attorney Mark O'Mara carefully placed a large cement block in front of jurors as he wrapped up his closing statements Friday morning.
O'Mara told jurors that injuries weren't necessary to prove a self-defense claim. Rather, it was Zimmerman's state of mind - and whether he was in fear of his life or great injury - that they will be instructed to consider as they deliberate.
"Injuries are icing on the cake of self-defense - it has nothing to do with the substance of self-defense," O'Mara said. "Not a thing."
In his rebuttal argument, prosecutor John Guy argued that Zimmerman had "hate in his heart" when he said he got out of his truck and followed Martin. "Was that child not in fear when he was running from that defendant? Isn't that every child's worst nightmare, to be followed on the way home in the dark by a stranger? That was Trayvon Martin's last emotion," said Guy.
Guy said Zimmerman did not "need" or "have" to shoot Martin.
"Your verdict is not going to bring Trayvon Martin back to life," Guy said. "It's not going to change the past. But it will forever define it."
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