We are still devastated by the loss of our son Trayvon Martin, and nothing can bring him back. But we are heartened to tell you that justice may finally be served for Trayvon.
Florida State Attorney Angela Corey announced that she will charge George Zimmerman with 2nd degree murder, weeks after he confessed to killing Trayvon -- and now he's in custody.
For weeks after Trayvon was killed, authorities refused to arrest Zimmerman. We couldn't believe that in 2012, public officials would turn a blind eye to our son's killing. We couldn't let that happen.
More than 2 million people joined our call for Zimmerman's arrest. We are so much closer to justice with the decision to bring charges against our son’s killer. We feel less alone knowing that so many people stood with our family during this impossible time.
When Trayvon was just nine, he ran into a burning house to save his father's life. He may be gone, but he is still our hero. We are so thankful to all of you who fought to honor his memory.
Thank you for standing with us, and with Trayvon.
- Tracy Martin and Sybrina Fulton
George Zimmerman turned himself in on Wednesday and is now in custody, special prosecutor Angela Corey said.
Martin's parents said the charge was a first step towards justice, but added there was "a long way to go".
Mr Zimmerman, 28, claimed self-defence and was not arrested in the weeks after Trayvon Martin's fatal shooting.
"Today we filed an information charging George Zimmerman with murder in the second degree," Ms Corey told reporters.
"I can tell you we did not come to this decision lightly. Let me emphasise that we do not prosecute by public pressure or petition," Ms Corey added, in a reference to the intense media scrutiny that has surrounded the case in recent weeks.
After the charges against him were made public, Mr Zimmerman's new defence lawyer, Mark O'Mara, said his client seemed lucid, and he was "not concerned about his mental well-being right now".
Mr O'Mara said he had been appointed to the case about 90 minutes before Ms Corey unveiled the charges against his client and he had not yet had time to look at the evidence.
However, Mr Zimmerman was likely to plead not guilty, Mr O'Mara said.
In a highly contentious press conference, attorneys Craig Sonner and Hal Uhrig announced they have withdrawn as counsel for George Zimmerman, who remains under intense scrutiny for the killing of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin.
"It's no so much that we are resigning. It's that we cannot continue to represent him until he comes forward," said attorney Craig Sonner.
Sonner and Uhrig say they have been unable to contact Zimmerman since Sunday, when he stopped returning their phone calls.
"He's not returning my messages not returning my texts not returning my emails. He won't even give me a collect call," Sonner said.
However, both attorneys said they would be willing to resume their representation of Zimmerman if he contacts them directly.
"He's got to reach out to us," added co-counsel Hal Uhrig.
The press conference than took an unusual twist, with Uhrig essentially trying the case before the gathered members of the press. Both attorneys stressed that they continue to believe Zimmerman acted in self-defense, while Uhrig criticized both the press and Martin himself.
Going after the press directly, Uhrig said, "If you don't believe this has been crouched in racial terms, you're not watching the same media, the same TV, reading the same blogs." In an unfortunate choice of words, Uhrig added, "I'm taking a shot at the press when I say this."
Uhrig then directed criticism at the now-deceased Martin, alleging that his own actions were to blame for Zimmerman shooting him.
"Whoever decided to turn it from a war of words into a war of fists does so at their own peril," Uhrig said.
"We frankly believe the correct decision will be to not charge him [Zimmerman]," Uhrig said.
"The first person that swung, as far as we can tell, was Trayvon Martin," Uhrig said. "The crime was battery against George Zimmerman."
Both attorneys repeatedly refused to reveal Zimmerman's location but insinuated that he is no longer in Florida. "You can stop looking in Florida. Look much further away than that," Uhrig said.
Trayvon Martin shooter George Zimmerman has apparently launched a website—TheRealGeorgeZimmerman.com—to relay a message thanking his supporters, and to collect donations via PayPal for his living and defense expenses. The site had been down intermittently on Monday afternoon.
"I am the real George Zimmerman," a message on the site begins. "On Sunday February 26th, I was involved in a life altering event which led me to become the subject of intense media coverage. As a result of the incident and subsequent media coverage, I have been forced to leave my home, my school, my employer, my family and ultimately, my entire life. This website's sole purpose is to ensure my supporters they are receiving my full attention without any intermediaries."
The site's background is an image of a large American flag. The domain was privately registered on Sunday, according to NetworkSolutions.com records.
NBC News' Mara Schiavocampo said she confirmed through Zimmerman's lawyers that the site is indeed his. CNN and other media outlets followed.
NEW YORK (AP) — No one knows what led a Florida neighborhood watch captain to shoot Trayvon Martin, a teenager carrying no weapon.
But a new study raises an intriguing question: Could the watch captain have been fooled into thinking the youth was armed in part because he himself was holding a gun?
In the study, volunteers who held a toy gun and glimpsed fleeting images of people holding an object were biased toward thinking the object was a gun.
It's another indication that the brain shapes what we perceive in the world beyond the information that comes in through our eyes, said James Brockmole of the University of Notre Dame, who did the work with psychologist Jessica Witt at Purdue University.
In a telephone interview, Brockmole stressed he had no inside information on the Feb. 26 shooting of 17-year-old Martin, who was shot and killed in a gated community in Sanford, a suburb of Orlando. The neighborhood watch captain, George Zimmerman, said he shot the teen in self-defense because the youth attacked him. The case has drawn outrage and protests, and the federal Department of Justice said Monday it will investigate.
Brockmole said it's possible that Zimmerman's perception might have been skewed by being armed.
Race may have also played a role. Martin is black; Zimmerman's family says he is Hispanic. Past research suggests that people can be more likely to perceive a poorly seen object as a gun if it's held by a black person than by a white person, experts say.
Zimmerman has not spoken publicly. The police report does not mention whether he thought Martin had a firearm. But during his patrol of the neighborhood in his SUV, Zimmerman called 911 and told a police dispatcher that he was following Martin. "We've had some break-ins my neighborhood. ...There is a really suspicious guy."