Forty-six day since Trayvon Martin was shot and killed on the streets of Sanford, Fla., the alleged shooter, George Zimmerman, was taken into custody Wednesday and charged with second-degree murder.
Angela Corey, the special prosecutor in the case, announced at a 6 p.m. press conference that Zimmerman turned himself in and he was placed under arrest.
Federal authorities took over the case three weeks ago.
“We did not come to this decision lightly,” Corey told reporters. She added that prosecutors didn’t wilt to the public pressure from those who thought this was a racially motivated incident, but only decided to act after they absorbed all of the facts in the high-profile case.
“We do not prosecute by public pressure or by petition,” Corey said, adding “we prosecute” by the facts.
Martin was shot and killed on Feb. 26 while walking home from a convenience store where he picked up a pack of Skittles and an iced tea.
Zimmerman spotted Martin, 17, walking down the street, then left his car after placing a call to 911.
Zimmerman, a neighborhood watch captain, said he acted in self-defense out of desperation because Martin was attacking him.
The teenager was unarmed when he was killed.
Corey said she spoke to Martin’s parents by phone when her team took over the case, and told them “we would get answers.”
The news of Zimmerman’s arrest comes one day after attorneys for the watch captain said they were no longer representing him because they were unable to locate him.
The attorneys said they haven’t been in contact with Zimmerman since Sunday. They also added that Zimmerman contacted the special prosecutor in the case against their advice.
Mark O’Mara, a criminal defense attorney in Orlando, announced that he is Zimmerman’s new lawyer.