(CBS/AP) SANFORD, Fla. -- A jury will consider a lesser charge of manslaughter as well as a second-degree murder charge against accused murderer George Zimmerman, a judge has ruled. But a request by prosecutors for the jury to also consider a lesser charge of third-degree felony murder - an offense that includes the commission of child abuse - drew heated opposition from the defense.
Defense attorney Don West called the possible lesser charge of third-degree felony murder "outrageous" and a "trick" by the state. He said prosecutors asked for the inclusion at the last minute.
"Just when I thought this case couldn't get any more bizarre, the state is seeking third-degree felony murder based on child abuse?" West said.
The offense of third-degree felony murder would be premised on the idea that Zimmerman committed child abuse since 17-year-old Trayvon Martin was underage when he was fatally shot. Prosecutors said they will not pursue the lesser charge of aggravated assault, as they initially indicated.
Zimmerman, a former neighborhood watch volunteer, is charged in the shooting death of the Florida teen.
Circuit Judge Debra Nelson made the ruling on the manslaughter lesser included offense during a hearing Thursday morning outside of the presence of the jury as attorneys hashed out jury instructions. She deferred ruling on the third-degree felony murder lesser charge after West argued he needed more time to prepare.
The panel of six women will return at 1 p.m. to hear closing arguments from the prosecution. Both prosecutors and defense attorneys have rested their cases, and testimony spanned about two and a half weeks.
The defense wanted the jury to only consider the second-degree murder charge Zimmerman faces as well as a not guilty verdict, and not lesser included offenses.
"[Zimmerman's] position is the state has charged him with second-degree murder, they should be required to prove it," West said." If they can't prove it, that's a failure of the prosecution."