George Zimmerman, who was found not guilty of second-degree murder and a lesser charge of manslaughter in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin, is entitled to get back the gun he used to kill the teen.
Following the announcement of the verdict, Judge Debra Nelson stated that all evidence in the case will be released and Zimmerman’s ankle monitor would be removed.
Judd Legum, Think Progress’ editor-in-chief, posted a photo of the gun on Twitter and tweeted “Under Florida law, Zimmerman will get back this gun which he used to kill Trayvon Martin.”
After three weeks of testimony, the six-woman jury rejected the prosecution’s contention that Zimmerman had deliberately pursued Martin because he assumed the hoodie-clad teenager was a criminal and instigated the fight that led to his death.
Zimmerman claims he shot Martin in early 2012 in self-defense after the teen knocked him to the ground, punched him and slammed his head repeatedly against the sidewalk.
In finding Zimmerman not guilty of murder or manslaughter, the jury, which deliberated for more than 16 hours during two days, agreed that the neighborhood watch volunteer could have been justified in shooting Martin because he feared great bodily harm or death.
The case began in the small city of Sanford, Fla., as a routine homicide but soon evolved into a civil rights cause examining racial profiling and its consequences.
Even President Barack Obama weighed in a month after the shooting, expressing sympathy for Martin’s family and urging a thorough investigation.
“If I had a son, he’d look like Trayvon.” Obama said.