George Zimmerman found not guilty

Zimmerman charged with murder in death of Trayvon Martin

George Zimmerman wipes sweat from his face during closing arguments.

SANFORD, Fla. – BREAKING NEWS:  The jury has found George Zimmerman not guilty of murder.

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The jury in the George Zimmerman second-degree murder trial has reached a verdict.

Zimmerman is charged in the death of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin, who was shot and killed in Sanford in February 2012.

The jury received the case on at 2:28 p.m. Friday, and the verdict was reached after about 14.5 hours of deliberations.  The verdict will be read Saturday night.

The six-person, all female jury can either find Zimmerman guilty of second-degree murder or a lesser charge of manslaughter or they could find him not guilty.

The jury has been sequestered since opening statements were presented on June 24.

The state began its case after nearly two weeks of jury selection and rested on July 5, after calling about three dozen witnesses. Testimony included Martin's mother, who said it was her son who was heard screaming on the background of a 911 call.

The defense began its case July 5 and rested on July 10, calling nearly 20 witnesses, many of whom testified that it was Zimmerman's voice in the background of the 911 call.

Former Sanford Police Chief Bill Lee also testified.

Zimmerman never testified about the fatal struggle with Martin, a 17-year-old Miami teen who was not armed.  Jurors, however, saw repeated video recordings of Zimmerman telling his story to investigators.

Zimmerman, a former neighborhood watch volunteer, has pleaded not guilty, claiming he shot Martin in self-defense.

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