George Zimmerman in custody, faces second-degree murder charge in Trayvon Martin case

Updated

BREAKING — Neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman is being charged with second-degree murder in the shooting of Trayvon Martin, the unarmed black teenager whose death ignited nationwide protests.   

Special prosecutor Angela Corey says that the 28-year-old Zimmerman is in custody, but wouldn’t disclose Zimmerman’s whereabouts for his safety.  He is expected in court within 24 hours. 

“We did not come to this decision lightly,” Angela Corey, the special prosecutor appointed by Florida Gov. Rick Scott to re-examine the case, said at a news conference in Jacksonville, Fla.  

“We just wanted an arrest, and we got it, and I say thank you. Thank you, Lord. Thank you, Jesus,” said Martin’s mother, Sybrina Fulton.

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.

Zimmerman, whose father is white and whose mother is Peruvian, has asserted since the Feb. 26 killing in Sanford that he shot the 17-year-old Martin in self-defense after the two fought.  Police questioned Zimmerman but decided against pressing charges.

Ed will have full coverage tonight on The Ed Show at 8pET on msnbc!

George Zimmerman and Trayvon Martin

George Zimmerman in custody, faces second-degree murder charge in Trayvon Martin case

Updated