A Florida jury on Saturday found George Zimmerman not guilty in the shooting death of unarmed black teenager Trayvon Martin, in a case that sparked a national debate on race and guns.
The jury of six women returned the verdict after more than 16 hours of deliberation over two days. Zimmerman was charged with second-degree murder, but the jury had the option of finding him guilty of the lesser charge of manslaughter.
Zimmerman stood stone-faced as the verdict was read. He flashed a smile when the jurors left the courtroom. His parents embraced each other and his wife was tearful. If he had been convicted, the 29-year-old former neighborhood watch volunteer, who claimed he acted in self-defense, could have been sentenced to life in prison for second-degree murder or up to 30 years for manslaughter.