On a rainy evening last February, a 17-year-old named Trayvon Benjamin Martin left his father’s girlfriend’s home in a gated Sanford, Fla. community to buy snacks — a package of Skittles and an Arizona Iced Tea — at a nearby convenience store during the NBA All-Star Game. On his way back, he was spotted by George Zimmerman, 28, an insurance claims adjuster and volunteer neighborhood watch organizer who suspected that he might be casing the gated community for burglary.
Against the advice of a police dispatcher, Zimmerman, armed with a Kel Tec PF9 pistol, followed Martin. An altercation ensued, and within minutes, Zimmerman’s gun had discharged and Martin — a high school junior from Miami — lay dead on his back.
What happened during those minutes has engulfed the nation in a fierce debate over race, violence and gun control. The focal point: Zimmerman’s claim that he legally defended himself from Martin under Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” statute, which allows a person with reasonable cause to believe they are being attacked to defend themselves using deadly force if necessary.
Zimmerman has been charged with second-degree murder in a case that has so far seen two judges step down and his own wife be charged with perjury; his trial is set to begin June 10.
Here’s a look at the key figures in the case and where they are now, one year after the fateful day that ended Trayvon Martin’s life — and changed so many others.
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