published Wednesday, July 10th, 2013

George Zimmerman declines to testify in trial; defense attorneys rest case

George Zimmerman sits in Seminole circuit court during his trial in Sanford, Fla., in this file photo.
George Zimmerman sits in Seminole circuit court during his trial in Sanford, Fla., in this file photo.
Photo by Associated Press /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

SANFORD, Fla. — Defense attorneys have rested their case in George Zimmerman’s second-degree murder trial after calling 18 witnesses over less than a week.

Prosecutors now plan to call two rebuttal witnesses. Both sides will then work on jury instructions before presenting closing arguments. The case is then sent to jurors.

Zimmerman never testified about the fatal struggle with Trayvon Martin. But jurors saw repeated video recordings of Zimmerman telling his story to investigators. The defense started its case last Friday, and it presented about half the witnesses and took half the time as the prosecution.

In the days before the defense finished Wednesday, they called Zimmerman’s friends, mother and uncle to testify that it is Zimmerman screaming for help on a 911 call that captured the fatal fight between Martin and Zimmerman.

Zimmerman is pleading not guilty to second-degree murder. He claims he shot Martin in self-defense.

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