Prosecutor: Grand jury will not hear Trayvon Martin case

Grand jury will not decide Zimmerman's fate

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George Zimmerman shot Trayvon Martin to death Feb. 26. He has claimed self-defense. (Source: CNN) George Zimmerman shot Trayvon Martin to death Feb. 26. He has claimed self-defense. (Source: CNN)

(RNN) - The special prosecutor appointed to the Trayvon Martin shooting case announced Monday that a grand jury will not hear the evidence against George Zimmerman, and will not determine if an indictment will be made.

Special prosecutor Angela Corey said her decision to skip the grand jury should not be considered a factor in the final determination of the case. The grand jury was expected to meet Tuesday.

Corey alone will make the decision as to whether Zimmerman will be indicted. Zimmerman has been shielded by Florida's controversial "Stand Your Ground" law, which allows deadly force in self-defense without an attempt to retreat.

The two options available to her now are to file charges or drop the case.

Corey was appointed more than a month after Martin, 17, was shot and killed by Zimmerman, 28, a self-appointed neighborhood watch captain.

Zimmerman told police that before the shooting on Feb. 26, Martin had attacked him, breaking his nose and slamming his head into the concrete.

"At this time, the investigation continues and there will be no further comment from this office," a statement from Corey's office said.

An attorney for Zimmerman told CNN that he was "not surprised."

"[I] don't know what her decision will be," he said, adding that the decision was a "courageous move on her [Corey's] part."

Benjamin Crump, a Martin family attorney, said the family remains hopeful charges will be brought in the case.

"We want to believe that this would be a positive sign that the prosecutor has enough information to arrest Trayvon Martin's killer," Crump told USA Today shortly after the news was released. "The family is really trying hard to be patient and have faith in the system."

Corey hinted weeks ago that she would forego the grand jury process and make the decision on her own.

"I always lean towards moving forward without needing the grand jury in a case like this," Corey told the Miami Herald on March 29. "I foresee us being able to make a decision and move it on our own."

Florida State Attorney Norm Wolfinger had announced only nine days earlier that a grand jury would review the case.

Grand juries are traditionally called on in high profile cases to determine whether charges can be brought against a party. They are secret in order to keep the proceedings from affecting the outcome of an eventual trial should charges be filed.

According to the AP, Florida law requires the use of grand juries in first-degree murder cases, but not for lesser charges.

Copyright 2012 Raycom News Network. All rights reserved.

Trayvon Martin (SIDEBAR)

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SLIDESHOW: Outrage over Trayvon Martin case Trayvon Martin, 17, was shot and killed last month by George Zimmerman, self-appointed captain of an unofficial neighborhood watch, while walking to his father's.

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