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Jurors Find George Zimmerman Not Guilty

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George Zimmerman. George Zimmerman.

Following nearly three weeks of testimony, a jury of six women in the George Zimmerman trial has found the former neighborhood watch volunteer not guilty of second-degree murder.

He was also found not guilty of the lesser offense of manslaughter, which the jury also weighed.

The jury deliberated until late Saturday night after Zimmerman's defense wrapped up closing statements and the prosecution concluded rebuttal arguments Friday.

Zimmerman, 29, was charged with second-degree murder in the shooting death of Florida teen Trayvon Martin during an altercation last year in a Sanford, Fla. gated community. Zimmerman pleaded not guilty, claiming he shot the teen in self-defense.

The case has drawn intense media spotlight, and a 44-day delay in Zimmerman's arrest after the Feb. 26, 2012 shooting spurred national protests.

The jury panel has been sequestered during the trial with limited contact to the outside world. Jury selection began in the case June 10. Everyone selected to sit on the jury vowed to judge Zimmerman impartially, based only the evidence presented in court, and not on media coverage of the case.

Throughout the trial, prosecutors and defense attorneys painted starkly different pictures of the 29-year-old.

Prosecutors portrayed Zimmerman as a vigilante, frustrated by the break-ins in his community that prompted him to launch a neighborhood watch program. They said Zimmerman, who had aspirations to be a police officer, profiled the teen as a criminal and shot him "because he wanted to."

Defense attorneys portrayed Zimmerman as a concerned community member who was "viciously attacked" when Martin "sucker punched" him and began slamming his head into a concrete sidewalk.

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