“I would have at least expected an arrest to be made,” Grace said Monday of the fatal shooting of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin by 28-year-old George Zimmerman in Sanford, Florida on Feb. 26. No charges have been filed against Zimmerman, who claimed he acted in self-defense, but a special prosecutor has been appointed to investigate the incident.
Zimmerman’s attorney has told CNN his client is innocent under Florida’s “stand your ground” law, which allows the use of deadly force if one has a reasonable fear of serious harm. Grace questioned whether Zimmerman can rely on that law when he said during his 911 call that he was following Martin before the shooting.
“At the outset, he is the aggressor,” Grace said. “That is what self-defense hinges on…You can’t claim self-defense if you are the aggressor…I don’t care if he regrets the deed now.”
Still, she cautioned against allowing the investigation to become a “witch hunt.”
She said the outcome of the case may depend on what Zimmerman was thinking at the time, and his 911 call may be the key to establishing that. She also noted an Orlando Sentinel article reporting that Zimmerman told police Martin punched him and slammed his head into the sidewalk several times before he shot him. According to the Sentinel, police have witnesses who support that version of events.
The Sanford Police Department issued a statement Monday afternoon calling the leaking of those details unauthorized but acknowledging that the Sentinel report is “consistent” with the information their office provided to the state attorney.
Chris Tutko, the director of the National Neighborhood Watch Program, told Grace Monday that he had no idea why Zimmerman was patrolling his gated community with a gun that night.
“We do not ask people to carry weapons…and certainly not a gun,” he said.
With so many questions still swirling around the case, Grace emphasized that getting to the truth is what is really important, regardless of whether it leads to criminal charges against Zimmerman.
“We want justice, whatever that may be,” she said. “Whether the courthouse falls down around us, we want justice. It has been a month now. A mother is crying.”
For the latest on the Trayvon Martin case, watch “Nancy Grace” Monday at 8 p.m. and 10 p.m. ET on HLN.