George Zimmerman is under arrest, charged with second degree murder in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin, a Florida special prosecutor announced Wednesday.
Zimmerman, 28, who's been in hiding since news of Martin's killing gained worldwide attention, turned himself in on an arrest warrant, called a capias, Special Prosecutor Angela Corey said at a news conference.
"I can tell you we did not come to this decision lightly," Corey said in remarks broadcast live on TV and online. "We do not prosecute by public pressure or by petition. We prosecute based on the facts in any given case, as well as the laws of the state of Florida."
So what is second degree murder?
Florida's jury instructions (which are based on the Florida statute) spell out three elements that prosecutors must prove to establish second degree murder beyond a reasonable doubt:
- The victim is deceased,
- The victim's death was caused by the defendant's criminal act, and
- There was an unlawful killing of the victim "by an act imminently dangerous to another and demonstrating a depraved mind without regard for human life."