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Fate of George Zimmerman in hands of Florida jury

Defense counsel Mark O'Mara has George Zimmerman stand in the courtroom for the jury during defense closing arguments at his trial at the Se
Defense counsel Mark O'Mara has George Zimmerman stand in the courtroom for the jury during defense closing arguments at his trial at the Se

SANFORD, Florida (Reuters) - The judge in the George Zimmerman murder trial instructed the jury on Friday to begin deliberations immediately over whether George Zimmerman acted in self-defense, and with justifiable use of deadly force, when he fatally shot unarmed black teenager Trayvon Martin last year.

The 29-year-old former neighborhood watch volunteer could face up to life in prison if convicted of second-degree murder for shooting Martin through the heart at point-blank range during a confrontation in a gated community in this central Florida town on February 26, 2012.

Seminole County Judge Debra Nelson told the panel of six women jurors they can also consider the lesser charge of manslaughter, which carries a maximum penalty of 30 years.

(Writing by Kevin Gray, Editing by Tom Brown)

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