(CNN) — Jurors in the George Zimmerman second-degree murder trial will be allowed to consider at least one lesser charge — manslaughter — when they get the case after closing arguments, Judge Debra Nelson ruled Thursday.
But she put off a decision whether they could consider a charge of third-degree murder after attorney Don West offered fierce objection to the charge, which prosecutors said is based on the idea that Zimmerman committed child abuse in killing 17-year-old Trayvon Martin.
“Oh my God,” he told Nelson. “Just when I thought this case couldn’t get any more bizarre, the state is seeking third-degree murder based on child abuse.”
Prosecutors are seeking the additional charges to give jurors more options should they find Zimmerman didn’t commit second-degree murder when he killed Martin on February 26, 2012.