A hearing Thursday will determine whether George Zimmerman’s “Stand Your Ground” hearing will actually happen on April 22.
Judge Debra Nelson already set April 22 as a preliminary date for the hearing that will determine whether Zimmerman is immune from prosecution under the “Stand Your Ground” law, or will stand trial for killing Trayvon Martin.
Zimmerman has pleaded not guilty to a second-degree murder charge for shooting Martin on Feb. 26, 2012. Martin was returning from a convenience store and was unarmed. Zimmerman told police he shot the teen in self-defense.
At the "Stand Your Ground" hearing, Zimmerman’s attorneys will have to convince the judge of three things:
- Zimmerman was not engaged in an unlawful activity.
- Zimmerman was being attacked in a place he had a right to be.
- Zimmerman had the reasonable belief that his life and his safety were in danger as a result of an overt act or perceived threat committed by Martin.
If Zimmerman’s attorneys are successful at the "Stand Your Ground" hearing, their client could walk out of court a free man with immunity from prosecution in the shooting. However, if they don’t convince the judge, Zimmerman will face a full criminal trial on June 10. At trial, Zimmerman will still be able to argue self-defense.
At the hearing, attorneys will also discuss “logistics” of what the defense says will be an “extended jury selection” process if the case goes to trial. Zimmerman is not expected to attend Thursday’s hearing.
Zimmerman’s next hearing is scheduled for March 5.