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George Zimmerman defense opens with knock knock joke

By Kristen Butler, UPI.com   |   June 24, 2013 at 1:22 PM   |   Comments

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June 24 (UPI) -- Defense attorney Don West began his opening statement this morning in the trial of George Zimmerman for the murder of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin in Florida.

The racially-charged case and surrounding controversy over so-called Stand Your Ground self-defense laws, led to widespread media attention when Sanford, Florida police didn't arrest Zimmerman after the shooting, citing his self-defense claim.

Zimmerman was later charged with second degree murder by a special prosecutor.

West told jurors that Zimmerman is not guilty, and instead "shot Trayvon Martin in self-defense after being viciously attacked."

Then West told a knock-knock joke: George Zimmerman who? "Alright, good. You're on the jury."

The ill-concieved joke was a reference to lengthy difficulties during jury selection, due to potential jurors having already been influenced by intense media coverage of the homicide.

Earlier, prosecutor John Guy began his opening statement -- the first words of the day -- with a profanity quoted from Zimmerman's phone call to police reporting a suspicious person the night of the shooting: "F---ing punks. These a--holes always get away."

© 2013 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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