Breaking down the charges and sentences Zimmerman is facing


SANFORD, Fla. - As jurors deliberate George Zimmerman's fate in his murder trial, WFTV has broken down the charges of second-degree murder and manslaughter.

Zimmerman is accused of shooting and killing 17-year-old Trayvon Martin in Sanford in February 2012. He has maintained the shooting was in self-defense.

For either conviction, the state must prove Zimmerman is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

Second-Degree Murder

  • The state must prove Zimmerman killed Martin and it was an intentional killing that was not premeditated or planned.
  • If Zimmerman convicted of second-degree murder, he will face up to life in prison.
  • If the 10-20-Life Law is taken into consideration, a second-degree murder conviction means Zimmerman will have to serve a minimum 25 years in prison.


  • The state must prove Zimmerman committed an act that caused death.
  • If Zimmerman is convicted of manslaughter with a firearm, he could be sentenced to a maximum of 30 years in prison.
  • Under the 10-20-Life Law, a manslaughter conviction means Zimmerman will have to serve a minimum of 25 years in prison and face a maximum of life in prison.