George Zimmerman won’t seek criminal immunity next month under Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” law in the shooting death of unarmed black teen Trayvon Martin and instead will likely let a jury decide his fate.
Meanwhile, his defense team has revealed the ordeal has led Zimmerman to pack on more than 100 pounds.
In court on Tuesday, defense attorney Mark O’Mara waived his right to use court time set aside for an immunity hearing, NBC station WESH reported. In that hearing a judge could have quickly cleared Zimmerman of any criminal liability under Florida law that allows lethal force for personal protection.
Zimmerman, a former neighborhood watch volunteer of white and Hispanic descent, has maintained he shot Martin on Feb. 26, 2012 in self-defense after Martin attacked him. He has pleaded not guilty to the second-degree murder charge.
O’Mara said outside Seminole County Courthouse on Tuesday that Zimmerman believes it would be a better outcome to be found not guilty of murdering Martin, rather than being granted immunity, WESH reported.
“George wants a jury of his peers to decide the case,” O’Mara said. “It’s going to be, I think, a more accepted result for everyone who has to result that he gets an acquittal at trial even more so than immunity hearing by a judge.”
Zimmerman has not been seen in public since he was released on bail last July.
“George is doing as well as can be expected,” Sean Vincent, spokesman for Zimmerman’s defense team, told NBC News. “He is in hiding and has gained 105 pounds,” putting him in the “ballpark” of 300 pounds. “Everyone deals with stress differently,” Vincent said.
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Editor’s note: George Zimmerman has sued NBCUniversal for defamation, and the company has strongly denied his allegations.