It all comes down to this: after more than a year of impassioned public debate, months of sometimes heated legal wrangling and some three weeks of trial, the men trying to put George Zimmerman away and those seeking to keep him free faced off Thursday in closing arguments of his second-degree murder trial.
If things go as planned, the six-member jury could have the case as soon as Friday.
And when they do, they’ll have more than one charge to consider in deciding the fate of the 29-year-old former neighborhood watch volunteer, who acknowledges shooting 17-year-old Trayvon Martin in 2012.
Judge Debra Nelson ruled Thursday that jurors will be allowed to consider manslaughter instead of the original second-degree murder charge against Zimmerman. But she denied prosecutors’ request to let the jurors also consider third-degree murder in their deliberations.