George Zimmerman stands as the judge leaves the courtroom, in Seminole circuit court on the 7th day of his trial June 18, 2013 in Sanford, Florida. (Photo by Joe Burbank-Pool/Getty Images)
SANFORD, Fla. - A Florida judge has read the formal charge against George Zimmerman to 40 potential jurors who could be selected to decide if he committed murder when he shot Trayvon Martin.
Judge Debra Nelson read the second-degree murder charge Wednesday before 40 potential jurors.
Those potential jurors are on moving on to the second round of questioning of what they know about the case involving the former neighborhood watch volunteer who fatally shot the unarmed 17-year-old last year.
Zimmerman is pleading not guilty, claiming self-defense.
Both Zimmerman's parents and Martin's parents were in the courtroom when the charge was read.
Zimmerman was driving through the gated community where he lived on the evening of Feb. 26, 2012, when he saw Martin walking back from a convenience store to a home belonging to his father's fiancee. Zimmerman called a nonemergency police number, followed Martin and at some point a fight erupted between them that left Martin dead.
The case is racially charged. A 44-day delay in Zimmerman's arrest led to protests around the nation. Protesters questioned whether the Sanford Police Department was investigating the case seriously because Martin was a black teen from the Miami area. Zimmerman identifies himself as Hispanic.
When asked what his impressions were about the case, the mixed-race man in his 50s said, "You had a family grieving for the loss of their son. You have another family grieving for the potential loss of their loved one to this process. You had supporters on both sides, and some people were very angry."
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