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Convicting George Zimmerman may not be easy: Fla. prosecutor

George Zimmerman and Trayvon Martin CBS/AP

Sanford, Fla., neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman, and Trayvon Martin, 17, who was killed by died while walking home in a Feb. 26 shooting
CBS/AP

(CBS) SANFORD, Fla. - The Florida prosecutor chosen to investigate the Trayvon Martin case told ABC News that convicting his killer, George Zimmerman, may not be easy.

Photos: Trayvon Martin

"The stand-your-ground law is one portion of justifiable use of deadly force," veteran prosecutor Angela Corey said. "And what that means is that the state must go forward and be able to prove it's case beyond a reasonable doubt... So it makes the case in general more difficult than a normal criminal case."

The law affords people substantial leeway to use deadly force if they feel their life is seriously endangered. The lawyer counseling Zimmerman, Craig Sonner, said Zimmerman felt "one of them was going to die that night," when he shot the unarmed 17-year-old.

Corey, known for her zealous defense of victims' rights, was hand-picked by Florida Gov. Rick Scott for the job. Her team is now re-investigating the case that the Sanford Police Department is accused of mishandling. Possible police missteps include failing to administer a toxicology exam on Zimmerman, not impounding his car, and failing to contact key witnesses - like Martin's girlfriend, who was talking to the teen by cell phone and heard most of the scuffle with Zimmerman unfold.

However, with the Department of Justice and the FBI investigating this case as a possible hate crime, Corey might want to pursue that avenue as well.

"So it would depend on which charge if any we're able to file," she said. "Before we would be able to determine, one, if this is a hate crime, and two, whether or not that would enhance the crime."

Corey said parts of the investigation might only take a few more days to complete but charges, if they ever come, could be weeks away.

Complete coverage of the Trayvon Martin case on Crimesider

  • Crimesider Staff

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