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Opening statements set to begin in Zimmerman trial
SANFORD -- SANFORD - Opening statements are set in the trial of a neighborhood watch volunteer charged with second-degree murder for the fatal shooting of an unarmed black teenager in central Florida.
Prosecutors and George Zimmerman's defense attorneys will present their cases Monday for the first time before a jury of six women.
Zimmerman says he shot 17-year-old Trayvon Martin in self-defense. Prosecutors say Zimmerman profiled Martin as he walked through a community on a rainy night in February 2012 wearing a dark hooded shirt.
The initial decision not to charge Zimmerman led to public outrage and demonstrations around the nation. Civil rights leaders and others accused Sanford police of failing to thoroughly investigate the shooting.
George Zimmerman's defense attorneys can use statements the neighborhood watch volunteer made to a police officer and neighbor immediately after he fatally shot 17-year-old Trayvon Martin.
Judge Debra Nelson made the ruling Monday that the remarks could be used shortly before opening statements in Zimmerman's second-degree murder trial.
Zimmerman told the officer and neighbor that he was yelling for help but nobody responded during his confrontation with Martin.
Zimmerman is pleading not guilty to second-degree murder, claiming self-defense.
Arguments over whether the remarks could be used by the defense delayed opening statements by a few minutes.