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George Zimmerman Found Not Guilty in Trayvon Martin Shooting

A Florida jury found Zimmerman, who is a graduate of Osbourn High School, not guilty.

A Florida jury has found Manassas native George Zimmerman not guilty in the February 2012 shooting death of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin. 

The jury of six women deliberated for 16 hours over a two-day period, after a five-week long trial, before acquitting Zimmerman, 29, on second-degree murder and manslaughter charges. 

Martin was walking home after purchasing a bag of Skittles and a beverage from a convenience store in Sanford, Fla. when Zimmerman, who volunteered with neighborhood watch, called 911 and began to follow the teenager. He told police that he shot Martin in self-defense. After over a month passed—and a national outcry over the lack of an arrest—Zimmerman was charged with second-degree murder. 

Before he moved to Florida, Zimmerman grew up in the Manassas area. When he was growing up, he served as an altar boy, and later a receptionist, at All Saints Catholic Church. Zimmerman was also a victim of an assault in Manassas in 2001, according to Manassas City Police. He graduated from Osbourn High School in 2001. 

His background in Prince William County played into the trial, as well. Prince William County Police Lt. Scott Kerns testified that Zimmerman had applied to become a police officer, but his application was probably rejected because of credit problems. Prosecutors attempted to use the testimony to characterize him as a "wannabe cop," who did not shoot Martin out of necessity. 

While Zimmerman is now cleared of all charges, the national conversation about race, ignited around the trial, will likely remain for some time to come.

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