Nightly News   |  July 12, 2013

Jury begins deliberations in George Zimmerman trial

In closing arguments Friday, the defense urged the jury not to make assumptions about George Zimmerman, insisting he wasn’t a “neighborhood watch cop wannabe,” while prosecutor John Guy asked the jurors to imagine an alternate scenario: what if Zimmerman had been walking home and it was Trayvon Martin who shot and killed Zimmerman: what their verdict would be? NBC’s Ron Mott reports.

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>>> good evening. the jury now has the case. now we wait for a verdict in the trial of george zimmerman , charged in the killing of trayvon martin . it's become such a closely watched, very highly charged court trial . because of the rules governing closing arguments, the defense wrapped up today, then the prosecutors had the last word before the judge charged the jury, sent away this jury of six, all women and all white. ron mott was there, continues to watch things for us tonight in sanford, florida. ron , good evening.

>> reporter: brian, good evening to you. after all the testimony, after all the evidence it all comes down to one of three options for this jury. george zimmerman , guilty of second-degree murder. george zimmerman , guilty of manslaughter manslaughter. or george zimmerman , not guilty. with his client accused of profiling trayvon martin , ending in a fatal encounter last year --

>> you might have an impression of george zimmerman .

>> reporter: today the defense attorney mark o'mara asked the jury in his closing argument not to make an assumption about george zimmerman .

>> neighborhood watch , cop wannabe, crazy --

>> reporter: about being an overzealous neighborhood watchman who hits his breaking point.

>> listen to the call. anger? frustration? hatred? ill will ? fight? get out here and get these guys. i hate these young black males . whatever. he wants to get them.

>> reporter: armed with a chart showing the prosecution's burden and others detailing the night martin was killed --

>> there's the shot.

>> reporter: the defense created an animation illustrating martin fighting the fight with zimmerman . he has pleaded not guilty saying he fired in self-defense. later the attorney called for a moment of silence. clock watching filling the void. first for a minute, then two. and still more.

>> that's how long trayvon martin had to run. about four minutes. that's how long.

>> reporter: and before his final argument to the jury, mark o'mara hauled out a chunk of concrete.

>> that's cement. that is sidewalk. and that is not an unarmed teenager with nothing but skittles trying to get home.

>> reporter: having the last word before the jury headed off to deliberate --

>> it's not a case about self-defense. it's a case about solve denial.

>> reporter: prosecutor john guy attacked zimmerman 's account of the shooting, labeling them lies. as for those four minutes?

>> four minutes is not the amount of time that trayvon martin had to run home. four minutes is the amount of time that trayvon martin had left on this earth.

>> reporter: the prosecutor closed with a question to the jury. what if the roles were reversed that night?

>> and if it was trayvon martin who had shot and killed george zimmerman . what would your verdict be? that's how you know it's not about race.

>> reporter: the jury began deliberating about 2:30 this afternoon, and after about 3 1/2 hours of discussions they called it a night. they'll be back here at 9:00 in the morning, brian.

>> jury of six. five of them white. under way. deliberations, though they will hold up for tonight. ron mott from florida. thanks.