George Zimmerman's First Court Appearance
After his arrest, George Zimmerman made his first court appearance on Thursday and faces second degree murder charges. INSIDE EDITION has the latest on the story gripping the nation.
George Zimmerman made his first court appearance on Thursday and is now charged with second degree murder in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin.
Zimmerman, in shackles and a grey prison jumpsuit, stood beside his new lawyer Mark O'Mara. The judge set a date for his arraignment in May.
Zimmerman spent his first night behind bars in the Seminole County jail in Sanford, Florida. He was processed at 8:30 p.m. and then put in a small jail cell with just enough room for a bed, toilet, sink, and small desk. He's being kept from the general population for his own protection.
A massive police motorcade arrived at the jail bringing Zimmerman, then he appeared almost out of thin air wearing a checkered shirt with a jacket over his head.
His new mugshot shows he's noticeably thinner than the 2005 photo we're used to seeing.
His lawyer says Zimmerman is shocked to be facing a charge of second degree murder, which carries a sentence of 25 years to life.
"He's troubled by it. He's very concerned about the whole process. He's stressed, he's tired. He was surprised by the charge," said O'Mara.
In the wake of Zimmerman's arrest, Trayvon's mother is now clarifying remarks she made on the Today show, when she called Zimmerman's shooting of her son an accident.
"I believe it was an accident. I believe that it just got out of control, and he couldn't turn the clock back," said Trayvon's mother on Today show.
She said in a statement, "The accident I was referring to was the fact that George Zimmerman and my son ever crossed paths. It was an accidental encounter. My son was profiled, followed and murdered by George Zimmerman, and there was nothing accidental about that."
Fox News' Sean Hannity argued that Zimmerman should have been charged with the lesser charge of manslaughter, rather than second degree murder.
"A lot of attorneys I have spoken to say they overcharged," said Hannity.
But Jeff Ashton, a prosecutor at the trial of Casey Anthony, told INSIDE EDITION special prosecutor Angela Corey wouldn't be charging Zimmerman with second degree murder if she didn't believe she had the evidence to back it up.
"Right now we don't know what the autopsy report shows, we don't know what forensic's show. So I am assuming there must be something in there that so completely contradicts the self-defense claim, so that it would justify second degree murder," said Ashton.
Concerns for Zimmerman's safety increased after former heavyweight boxing champ Mike Tyson said in an interview, "It's a disgrace that man hasn't been shot yet."
Tyson was asked about his incendiary comment on CNN and isn't backing down.
"This guy stalked this young kid, the police ask him to lay back, he disobeyed the order from a superior, went and killed this kid anyway and your going to say that's harsh? You know I am only a human being too," said Tyson.
Zimmerman's brother, Robert, told Piers Morgan that this has been trial by lynch mob.
"The only silver lining in all of this is that my brother is safe," said Robert.
Many people looking at Zimmerman's just released mugshot are also asking whether it contradicts his claim that he acted in self-defense after Trayvon Martin attacked him and broke his nose.
INSIDE EDITION showed the mug shot to plastic surgeon Dr. Steven Pearlman.
"You see how straight the nose is, the sides are nice and parallel, it is straight down the middle. This is not a broken nose," said Dr. Pearlman.
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