SANFORD – The Trayvon Martin case has encountered another upset, as Florida Gov. Rick Scott and state Attorney General Pam Bondi have announced that State Attorney Norman Wolfinger of Seminole County will step down as lead investigator. Citing a conflict of interest as the reason behind the decision, which was announced Thursday night, Scott has appointed State Attorney Angela Corey of Jacksonville to take over the investigation into Trayvon Martin’s death. Wolfinger has recused himself.
A State Attorney for the northeast region of Florida, Corey was elected to her position in 2008. She has been a prosecutor since 1981.
“I believe Gov. Scott is very comfortable with the level of homicide prosecution that I have done myself,” Corey told local Florida press Thursday evening, “and he knows that we handle a lot of homicides and a lot of issues with justifiable use of deadly force.”
Corey has assigned investigators Bernie de la Rionda and John Guy to the case. The team is expected to take over the investigation in Sanford today. Corey and her team may present their findings to the Seminole County grand jury that will convene on April 10 to determine whether any wrongdoing occurred in the Trayvon Martin case.
This news comes on the heels of former Sanford police chief Bill Lee stepping down temporarily in response to the many calls for him to be fired. Lee has stated that he stands by his decision not to arrest George Zimmerman for the February 26 killing of Trayvon Martin. He attests that he has voluntarily resigned because he perceives his presence as a distraction.
A rally was held last night in Sanford, at which an estimated 10,000 protesters gathered to demand that police arrest George Zimmerman for killing Trayvon Martin, an unarmed teen returning from a corner store with a bag of Skittles candy. Zimmerman, 28, claims he killed Martin, 17, in self-defense. Zimmerman has not been charged.
Revelations that police may have handled their investigation into Martin’s death inappropriately have spawned national condemnation of the Sanford police department. It is widely believed that racial bias motivated their actions.
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