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Stand your ground death marks anniversary

Feb. 26, 2013 at 7:50 AM   |   Comments

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SANFORD, Fla., Feb. 26 (UPI) -- A year after their unarmed teenage son was shot to death in Sanford, Fla., the parents of Trayvon Martin say they'll accept whatever a jury decides.

Martin was 17 years old when he was shot and killed by George Zimmerman, 28, a Hispanic-American, on Feb. 26, 2012. Zimmerman said he was acting in self-defense under Florida's stand your ground law; Martin's family said their son was profiled.

Martin's parents, Sybrina Fulton and Tracy Martin, said they are committed to seek justice for their son and speak out on issues, CNN reported.

"We [want to] make sure that no other parents have to go through what we have gone through in the last year," Fulton said.

Barring something unforeseen, Zimmerman will go to trial June 10 on a second-degree murder charge. Police didn't initially charge him with anything because he claimed self-defense under the Florida statute.

On the anniversary of their son's death, Fulton and Martin were to be in New York for a candlelight vigil. Others organized vigils in Sanford and at the University of Central Florida.

Also Tuesday, community leaders working to improve community-police relations were to meet with representatives of the U.S. Justice Department Community Relations Service team to review Zimmerman's stand-your-ground hearing scheduled for April 22, the Orlando Sentinel reported. Zimmerman is expected to ask for immunity from prosecution and tell Circuit Judge Debra Nelson he shot Martin because the teen broke his nose and pinned him to the ground, and Zimmerman believed he was about to die.

Fulton told CNN she and her ex-husband basically got what they asked for -- Zimmerman's arrest and trial.

"We just want to have that trial, and let the jury decide," she said. "And whatever decision comes out of that, we're going to accept that. We may not like it, but we're going to accept it."

Martin's parents also said they know much about their son's case is now out of their hands.

Their lawyer, Benjamin Crump, does as well, CNN said.

If Zimmerman is "not held accountable, what message does that send to the next child that's killed, unarmed, on the ground?" he asked

© 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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