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After much media attention, a special prosecutor, Angela Corey, was named March 12, 2012, to take over the investigation. She brought second-degree murder charges against Mr. Zimmerman on April 11, 2012. On Saturday, after a monthlong trial and more than 16 hours of deliberations, a jury of six women found Mr. Zimmerman not guilty of second-degree murder and declined the option of convicting on a lesser charge such as manslaughter.

In the hours after Mr. Zimmerman was found not guilty, protests across the country mostly were peaceful, although the news media had predicted and hyped the prospect of violent protests in the case of an acquittal.