George Zimmerman arrives with co-counsel Don West for jury selection in Seminole circuit court June 10, 2013 in Sanford, Florida.(Photo: Pool photo by Joe Burbank)
Sanford, FL -- While jury selection got underway Monday in George Zimmerman's second degree murder trial in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin, the question remains: will the neighborhood watch volunteer take the stand in his own defense?
Robert Zimmerman Jr. told reporters that his brother taking the stand will largely depend on how the case unfolds.
"The burden is on the state, so before we get to taking the stand we have to really think about what an appropriate defense would be and juxtapose that to how the state presents its case," Robert Zimmerman Jr. said.
Jury selection in the case began in Seminole County on Monday. Six jurors and four alternates will be selected to hear the case.
The trial is expected to last four to six weeks.
On Monday morning, Martin's family issued a brief statement saying they were relieved the trial had finally started.
"We are seeking justice for our son and a fair trial. Trayvon's life was taken unnecessarily and tragically, but we call upon the community to be peaceful. We have placed our faith in the justice system and ask that the community do the same," the Martin family said through a written statement.
Only a handful of demonstrators gathered outside the Courthouse for the first day of the highly publicized case. But the small group did include Noche Diaz, who traveled all the way from New York City.
"If the people just sit back... and wait for the verdict it's very possible they could find him not guilty, which would send a green light to every racist vigilante around this country that it's free to kill a youth of color," said Diaz, who was also helping to organize what he called a "Hood-up" to show support for the Martin family.
Zimmerman claims he fatally shot the 17-year-old Martin last year in self defense. If convicted of second degree murder, the 29-year-old Zimmerman could be sentenced to life in prison.
Jury selection could take several weeks and the judge presiding over the case has yet to say if the jury will be sequestered.