Dominion of New York

The 411

April 9, 2012

Prosecutor: No Grand Jury for Trayvon Martin Killing

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Written by: Kelly Virella
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George Zimmerman


s she suggested a few weeks ago, the special prosecutor handling the Trayvon Martin case has decided to forego the use of a grand jury, CNN is reporting. Florida prosecutor Angela Corey will continue investigating the case and intends to make a decision herself. A grand jury was scheduled to meet tomorrow. No estimated date of completion has been given for Corey’s investigation.

One implication of Corey’s decision not to use a grand jury is that if she chooses to charge Zimmerman, she cannot charge him with a capital crime, one punishable by death. Under Florida law, she would have to convene a grand jury to make such a weighty charge.

In an interview with the Miami Herald a few weeks ago, Corey indicated that she believed she would be able to make the decision whether to charge Zimmerman herself.  “I always lean towards moving forward without needing the grand jury in a case like this,” she told The Herald/Times. “I foresee us being able to make a decision, and move on it on our own.”

Just two weeks before she assumed leadership of the Trayvon Martin investigation, Corey’s office faced a very similar murder case.

The murder that Corey’s office decided to charge occurred March 16 in a Jacksonville, Florida parking lot. The victim, Kahron Ali Warnke, and the shooter, Brad Lippincot, got into a road-rage argument. The particulars of that argument have not been publicly revealed. But police say Lippincott pulled out a gun and shot Warnke several times, while Warnke’s 8-year-old daughter was in the backseat, according to the Florida Times-Union. At least one news outlet is reporting that Warnke also fired shots at Lippincot.  Warnke drove off, but lost consciousness about a block away, and crashed into a home. His daughter survived the crash.

Lippincott called 911 to report the shooting and claimed self-defense. But Corey’s office charged him with manslaughter with a firearm, with shooting from a vehicle and shooting from an unoccupied vehicle, First Coast News reports. If convicted, he could face up to 30 years in prison.

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About the Author

Kelly Virella
Kelly Virella lives in an East Harlem walk-up with her husband, her bicycle and her books. She's worked as a journalist for 11 years and started this website during the summer of 2011. She fell in love with New York City during her first visit here as a 16-year-old and finally made good on her promise to move here in April 2010.


Official portrait from his tenure as US Secretary of Housing and Urban Development.