Trayvon Martin's parents prepared for character 'assassination'

June 2, 2013 at 10:18 AM

MIAMI, June 2 (UPI) -- The parents of slain teen Trayvon Martin said they expect defense lawyers to assassinate the teen's character during George Zimmerman's murder trial in Florida.

Tracy Martin, Trayvon's father, told a prayer group Saturday afternoon at Bethel Apostolic Temple in Miami, he knows he's "going to have to sit through all the negativity" during the trial, expected to begin June 10, the Orlando (Fla.) Sentinel reported.

Zimmerman, 29, is charged with second-degree murder in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin, 17, in Sanford, Fla., Feb. 26, 2012.

Zimmerman, a neighborhood watch volunteer at the time of the shooting, has maintained he acted in self-defense after being attacked and beaten by Martin, while the prosecution contends Zimmerman targeted and pursued Martin because he was black.

Benjamin Crump, the lawyer for Tracy Martin and Sybrina Fulton -- Trayvon's mother -- said defense lawyers are resorting to "a desperate attempt to try to play on people's prejudices" by releasing to the public texts and photographs taken from the teen's phone showing his interest in violence and marijuana.

"It's bad enough they had to lose their child. It's tragic they had to assassinate his character," Crump said.

Fulton told the prayer group she'd rather not be in the international spotlight, the Sentinel reported.

"I would have rather gone back to my job with my same two kids, to my same house," she said.

Jury selection for Zimmerman's trial is expected to last two to three weeks, Crump told the prayer group.

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