Defense: 'Ecstatic' that George Zimmerman acquitted

Published On: Jul 13 2013 10:56:08 PM EDT
Updated On: Jul 13 2013 11:52:12 PM EDT

REUTERS/Joe Burbank

SANFORD, Fla. -

George Zimmerman's lead defense attorney says he is "ecstatic" that the former neighborhood watch volunteer has been cleared of all charges in the fatal shooting of Travyon Martin.

Lead attorney Mark O'Mara said Saturday night after the verdict was announced that the only thing Zimmerman was guilty of was protecting himself.

Defense attorney Don West then said that he knows he can be "blunt" but called the state's prosecution of Zimmerman "disgraceful" and is "thrilled jury prevented this tragedy from becoming a travesty."

O'Mara read aloud a letter he wrote to Seminole Sheriff thanking SCSO for how the Zimmerman matter was "handled."

Prosecutors say they are disappointed that the jury of six women did not find Zimmerman guilty of second-degree murder, which they felt was an appropriate charge because Zimmerman's mindset the night he shot Martin "fit the bill."

The jury had also been given the chance to convict Zimmerman of manslaughter but did not do so, despite asking for a clarification of the charge earlier in the evening.

Zimmerman blinked and barely smiled as the six-member, all-woman jury announced its verdict following more than 15 hours of deliberations over two days. After hearing the verdict, Judge Debra Nelson told Zimmerman he was free to go.

Zimmerman's wife, Shellie Zimmerman, had tears in her eyes after the six-member, all-woman jury delivered its verdict Saturday night.

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