SANFORD, Fla. -- The jury in the George Zimmerman murder trial deliberated the fate of the neighborhood watch volunteer for about three and a half hours on Friday and adjourned for the night.
The sequestered jury of six women will resume discussions Saturday at 9 a.m. They will start by meeting with Judge Debra S. Nelson, who will poll them to make sure they have not received any outside information or seen any news reports.
The jury received the case after lunch on Friday when the defense and prosecution finished their closing arguments.
Jurors will decide whether Zimmerman murdered Trayvon Martin, an unarmed teenager, or acted in self-defense when he shot Martin on the night of Feb. 26, 2012, in Sanford, Fla. Zimmerman, who is charged with second-degree murder, maintains he shot Martin in self-defense after Martin suddenly attacked him.
The prosecution argues that Zimmerman, a neighborhood watch volunteer, profiled, tracked and deliberately shot the teenager, who was returning from a convenience store after buying candy and a soft drink.
During the first hours of deliberations the jurors asked for, and received, an inventory of evidence.
In addition to the murder charge, the jury can also consider a manslaughter charge, which is considered a lesser count because it has a lower standard of proof. Conviction on second-degree murder requires that the jury believe that Zimmerman acted with ill will, hatred or spite in the shooting.
Police officials have urged the city to be calm when the verdict is reached in the case, which prompted local and national demonstrations by civil rights leaders. Martin is African American and Zimmerman is of Latino heritage.
A few of demonstrators gather at the courthouse while the jury deliberated.