Aug 09, 2012 09:59 PM EDT

George Zimmerman Searching For Self Defense In Shooting Death Of Trayvon Martin

Accoridng to USA TODAY:

George Zimmerman's attorney, Mark O'Mara, said on his website Thursday that the prosecutions own evidence shows that Zimmerman shot Trayvon Martin in self defense. He likened the hearing to a "mini-trial," where witnesses and experts would be called.

The hearing would go before Circuit Court Judge Kenneth Lester. If Lester agrees with the defense that Zimmerman acted in self-defense, then all the charges against him will be dropped.

"This is a significant issue," says Michelle Jacobs, a defense attorney and law professor at the University of Florida. The hearing, she says, will decide if the case is squashed or goes forward to trial.

Zimmerman and Trayvon, 17, got into a fight on Feb. 26 at a gated complex of townhomes in Sanford. When it was over, Trayvon was shot dead.

Zimmerman says he was in fear for his life when Trayvon slammed his head into the concrete as they fought. The prosecution says Zimmerman profiled Trayvon, followed him and confronted him for no reason other than how he looked.

Florida is one of at least 21 states with some variation of the controversial law that says a person does not have to retreat in the face of a threat and can use deadly force if they fear they are in danger of death or serious harm.

Zimmerman's Stand Your Ground hearing will hinge on whether he was in reasonable fear for his life when the shooting occurred, says Elizabeth Megale, a Savannah Law School professor who has studied Florida's Stand Your Ground law. If so, then he is entitled to immunity from the charges, she says.

Ben Crump, an attorney for Trayvon's family, said in a statement, "A grown man cannot profile and pursue an unarmed child, shoot him in the heart, and then claim stand your ground. There is only one version of this story that represents that Zimmerman was attacked by Trayvon Martin, and that's Zimmerman's self-serving version."

But Megale says under the law it doesn't matter if Zimmerman was the aggressor or when his fear was triggered.

"That's what most people don't understand," she said. The problem with the law, she says, is that it is too broadly written.

Also on Thursday, the office of Florida State Attorney Angela Corey released more discovery on the case, including a state police report that showed Trayvon's blood was on the bag of Skittles candy he carried in his pocket.

The office also unwittingly released Zimmerman's school records. The records show Zimmerman was a below average student at Seminole State College of Florida, who ended up on academic probation after failing a science class and as a result, didn't graduate.

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