A young couple reportedly partied at a bar after allegedly murdering a 19-year-old girl, then argued about how to dispose of her corpse in text and Facebook messages!
“I would have at least expected an arrest to be made,” Grace said Monday of the fatal shooting of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin by 28-year-old George Zimmerman in Sanford, Florida on Feb. 26. No charges have been filed against Zimmerman, who claimed he acted in self-defense, but a special prosecutor has been appointed to investigate the incident.
Zimmerman’s attorney has told CNN his client is innocent under Florida’s “stand your ground” law, which allows the use of deadly force if one has a reasonable fear of serious harm. Grace questioned whether Zimmerman can rely on that law when he said during his 911 call that he was following Martin before the shooting.
“At the outset, he is the aggressor,” Grace said. “That is what self-defense hinges on…You can’t claim self-defense if you are the aggressor…I don’t care if he regrets the deed now.”
Still, she cautioned against allowing the investigation to become a “witch hunt.”
She said the outcome of the case may depend on what Zimmerman was thinking at the time, and his 911 call may be the key to establishing that. She also noted an Orlando Sentinel article reporting that Zimmerman told police Martin punched him and slammed his head into the sidewalk several times before he shot him. According to the Sentinel, police have witnesses who support that version of events.
The Sanford Police Department issued a statement Monday afternoon calling the leaking of those details unauthorized but acknowledging that the Sentinel report is “consistent” with the information their office provided to the state attorney.
Chris Tutko, the director of the National Neighborhood Watch Program, told Grace Monday that he had no idea why Zimmerman was patrolling his gated community with a gun that night.
“We do not ask people to carry weapons…and certainly not a gun,” he said.
With so many questions still swirling around the case, Grace emphasized that getting to the truth is what is really important, regardless of whether it leads to criminal charges against Zimmerman.
“We want justice, whatever that may be,” she said. “Whether the courthouse falls down around us, we want justice. It has been a month now. A mother is crying.”
For the latest on the Trayvon Martin case, watch “Nancy Grace” Monday at 8 p.m. and 10 p.m. ET on HLN.
The mystery of what happened to missing Texas teenager Hailey Dunn continues.
Big Spring police announced Friday that remains found near a small airport on Tuesday are not those of the 13-year-old who was last seen two days after Christmas in 2010. The location was about 40 miles from the girl's Colorado City home.
An autopsy began on Friday morning but police said they have already determined that the remains are from a male. They did not expect to release any additional information about the investigation until a preliminary report from the medical examiner is complete.
According to KCBD, the news that the body is not Hailey’s has renewed hope in Colorado City that the teen may be alive somewhere. Volunteers told the station they were planning new searches and repainting signs that sit outside her former home.
An attorney for Shawn Adkins, the person of interest in Hailey’s disappearance, issued a statement Friday calling the announcement “bittersweet.”
“Shawn wishes to extend prayers for this yet-identified individual and hopes that some family will find closure and peace…Today's news, though saddening, should be a vivid reminder that trials should occur in the courtroom and that our laws and system of justice require an awareness and respect for the presumption of innocence,” the statement said.
So if the remains aren’t Hailey’s, whose are they? The Texas Department of Public Safety’s Missing Persons Clearinghouse website shows four males who have vanished in the Big Spring area since 1979, most recently in 2003, but it is still unclear how old the remains found last week are.
The Abilene Reporter-News reported that experts say it could take up to a month to identify the remains.