The Florida judge for George Zimmerman’s second-degree murder trial said Thursday that the jury will be allowed to consider a lesser charge of manslaughter.
The judge made that ruling in response to a filing from prosecutors, NBC reported. Attorneys for the plaintiffs had asked for the inclusion of two lesser charges — manslaughter and felony murder in the third degree with child abuse as the aggravating factor. The judge allowed one — manslaughter.
Defense attorneys had protested the idea of the jury being allowed to consider lesser charges at all.
Mr. Zimmerman could face life in prison if convicted of second-degree murder in the February shooting death of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin. He’s claimed he shot the teen in self-defense, in accordance with Florida “Stand Your Ground” gun laws.