Huff Post posts,
After weeks in hiding, George Zimmerman made his first courtroom appearance Thursday in the shooting of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin, and prosecutors outlined their murder case in court papers, saying the neighborhood watch volunteer followed and confronted the black teenager after a police dispatcher told him not to.
The brief outline, contained in an affidavit filed in support of the second-degree murder charges, appeared to contradict Zimmerman’s claim that Martin attacked him after he had turned away and was returning to his vehicle. . . .
He did not enter a plea; that will happen at his arraignment, which was set for May 29. Zimmerman’s attorney, Mark O’Mara, has said his client will plead not guilty. A bail hearing for Zimmerman probably will be held April 20, O’Mara said late Thursday.
To prove second-degree murder, prosecutors must show that Zimmerman committed an “imminently dangerous” act that showed a “depraved” lack of regard for human life. The charge carries a mandatory sentence of 25 years in prison and a maximum of life. . . .
For all the relief among civil rights activists over the arrest, legal experts warned there is a real chance the case could get thrown out before it ever goes to trial because of Florida’s “stand your ground” law, which gives people a broad right to use deadly force without having to retreat from a fight.
At a pretrial hearing, Zimmerman’s lawyers would only have to prove by a preponderance of evidence – a relatively low legal standard – that he acted in self-defense in order to get a judge to toss out the second-murder charges. And if that fails and the case does go to trial, the defense can raise the argument all over again.