Strength of case against Zimmerman questioned

(CBS News) Now that George Zimmerman is behind bars facing murder charges for shooting Trayvon Martin in Sanford, Fla. on Feb. 26, there are questions about just how strong a case prosecutors have against him.

Special prosecutor Angela Corey's affidavit outlines her case, saying, Zimmerman "profiled" Martin as a suspicious person, and became the aggressor when he "disregarded the police dispatcher" on this call.

Complete coverage of the Trayvon Martin case on CBS News

Corey said, "If (the) 'Stand Your Ground' (law) becomes an issue, we will fight it."

But many criminal trial lawyers in Orlando see nothing in the special prosecutor's affidavit that would convict Zimmerman.

Florida's "Stand Your Ground" law allows even the original aggressor in a fight to use deadly force - if that person becomes reasonably afraid of being killed or seriously hurt.

Trial lawyer Richard Hornsby has litigated 15 "Stand Your Ground" cases - none of them homicides - and won them all.

Hornsby told CBS News he thinks Corey's affidavit is more significant for what it leaves out than for what it includes.

"The moment George Zimmerman fired that shot is the key question in this entire case," Hornsby said. "Did he reasonably believe he had to fire that shot to defend himself? And the fact (Corey) completely left that out, begs the question, does she not have any evidence to refute his version of the events?"

A hearing next Friday will determine whether Zimmerman should be freed on bond.

(Jean Casarez, an attorney and correspondent for "In Session" on Tru-TV, discussed the case on CBS This Morning: Saturday." Watch her analysis in the video below.)


Judge Jessica Recksiedler might have to step aside from George Zimmerman's murder case. Her husband works in the same law firm as a CNN legal analyst. Mark O'Mara, Zimmerman's lawyer, will decide next week whether he sees that as a conflict.

Zimmerman attorney may ask judge to drop case

For Mark Strassmann's full report, watch the video in the player above.

  • Mark Strassmann

    Mark Strassmann was named CBS News Transportation correspondent in August 2011. He has been a CBS News correspondent since January 2001, and is based in the Atlanta bureau.

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