The judge in the Trayvon Martin murder case agreed Thursday to instruct jurors to consider the lesser charge of manslaughter when they begin deliberations.
George Zimmerman had been charged only with second-degree murder.
Zimmerman’s attorneys had objected to adding any lesser charges, and Judge Debra Nelson held a hearing on the issue. The jury still has the option of convicting Zimmerman, 29, of the second-degree murder charge that prosecutors sought when the trial began.
The last-minute maneuvering has been seen by some legal experts as an indication that prosecutors were not confident about their chances for a second-degree murder conviction. Zimmerman, a neighborhood watch volunteer, has been portrayed by prosecutors as a wanna-be cop who shot Trayvon, who is black, after a confrontation in a gated residential community in February 2012.
Source: USA Today