SANFORD, Fla. (AP) -- The Florida neighborhood watch volunteer who fatally shot an unarmed black teen is set to appear before a judge on second-degree murder charges in a case that galvanized the nation.
George Zimmerman turned himself in to authorities and is jailed in Sanford, Fla., in the February shooting of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin. His attorney says he plans to plead not guilty in court Thursday.
Legal experts say a special state prosecutor has steep hurdles to climb to make a murder case against Zimmerman. Experts say they need to counter Zimmerman's claim that he shot Martin in self-defense, and prove he intended to kill Martin.
Zimmerman's attorney also plans to invoke Florida's "stand your ground" law, which gives people wide leeway to use deadly force to protect themselves.