The special prosecutor investigating the shooting death of unarmed Florida teenager Trayvon Martin has ruled out using a grand jury in the case, meaning her office alone will decide whether to charge shooter George Zimmerman with a crime.
The case has captured national attention, largely because of race. Martin, 17, was black and Zimmerman, 28, who has not been charged, is white and Hispanic.
Police in the town of Sanford declined to arrest Zimmerman after the shooting, saying they found no evidence to contradict his account that he acted in self-defense.
The state attorney previously investigating the shooting, Norm Wolfinger, had said the case would go to a grand jury on April 10. That grand jury would have decided whether to charge Zimmerman but Wolfinger removed himself from the case on March 22 and was replaced by Angela Corey.
"State Attorney Angela Corey has decided not to use a grand jury in the Trayvon Martin shooting death investigation," her office said in a statement.
"At this time, the investigation continues and there will be no further comment from this office," the statement said.
The shooting has generated protests around the country demanding Zimmerman's arrest and criticizing the police investigation.
Relatives and supporters of Zimmerman say he was attacked by Martin and feared for his life when he fired his 9mm handgun, for which he had a permit to carry.
Amid withering criticism of the investigation, Wolfinger removed himself from the case and was replaced by Corey. Sanford Police Chief Bill Lee stepped aside that same day.
The latest protest took place on Monday outside the Sanford Police Department, forcing police to temporarily close the police station to the public, suspend some services such as finger-printing, and move routine business to the city clerk's office.
© 2023 Thomson/Reuters. All rights reserved.