Angela Corey, special prosecutor appointed in Trayvon Martin case, announced on Monday that a grand jury will not look into the case, leaving the decision on whether to charge the neighborhood watch captain to herself.
The decision should not be considered a factor in the final determination of the case. At this time, the investigation continues and there will be no further comment. From the moment she was assigned, Ms. Corey noted she may not need a grand jury, Corey's office said.
Corey, 57, was appointed as a special prosecutor by Republican Gov. Rick Scott after the former prosecutor in the case, Seminole County State Attorney Norm Wolfinger, stepped down.
Wolfinger initially had called the grand jury and had scheduled the panel to meet on Tuesday, April 10.
Last month, in an interview with McClatchy Newspaper, Corey said that she did not expect to require a grand jury in the case, and would probably decide herself whether to charge George Zimmerman.
I always lean towards moving forward without needing the grand jury in a case like this, Corey told the newspaper. I foresee us being able to make a decision, and move on it on our own.
To avoid political fallout from controversial cases prosecutors sometimes use grand juries to review the case, said David Hill, an Orlando criminal defense attorney. But Corey was elected by voters more than 100 miles away in the Jacksonville area, so political problems are less of an issue for Corey, Hill said.
Corey had a reputation for not allowing grand juries to review the case if it wasn’t necessary and her decision of not using grand jury probably means that the 28-year-old shooter will not face a first-degree murder charge.
However, Corey’s announcement about jury has not surprised Martin’s family.
Benjamin Crump, Martin’s family attorney, said: “Trayvon’s parents are not surprised by the announcement, and remain hopeful that a decision will be reached very soon to arrest George Zimmerman and give Trayvon Martin’s family the simple justice they have been seeking all along.”
“The family has been patient throughout this process and asks that those who support them do the same during this very important investigation,” Crump said in a statement.