*Defense lawyers for George Zimmerman, charged with the second-degree murder of Trayvon Martin, rested their case on Wednesday, on a day when Zimmerman told the judge he did not want to testify on his own behalf.
“I think we have a very, very good chance with the jury,” Mark O’Mara, Zimmerman’s defense attorney, said at a press conference after court ended on Wednesday evening.
Zimmerman, 29, says he was acting in self-defense when he shot Martin on a rainy night last year in a gated community in Sanford, Fla. He has pleaded not guilty to the charge against him, saying the 17-year-old attacked him when the two encountered each other on Feb. 26, 2012.
If convicted of second-degree murder, Zimmerman could face up to life in prison. Closing arguments are set to begin today. Jury deliberations are scheduled to begin on Friday afternoon, the judge presiding over the case said Wednesday.
It was a difficult decision for Zimmerman not to testify, O’Mara told reporters later.
“He’s very worried. I mean, I think he’s happy with the way the evidence got out and that he’s finally had an opportunity to have his lawyers present his case for him. But, you know, we still have a case where the state of Florida is trying to put him behind bars for the rest of his life. That’s a very scary position to be in,” O’Mara said.
The defense rested after briefly hearing testimony from Robert Zimmerman, George Zimmerman’s father, and Olivia Bertalan, a resident at the Retreat at Twin Lakes gated community where Zimmerman was a neighborhood watch volunteer and where he and Martin had their fatal encounter.