The FBI is attempting to make a hate crime charge stick to George Zimmerman. The 28-year-old, who has been charged with second-degree murder, admitted to killing Black teen Trayvon Martin in February during a confrontation. However, he claims the shooting was in self-defense. The charge, if Zimmerman is convicted, carries a possible sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole.
FBI investigators are actively questioning witnesses in the Twin Lakes neighborhood, seeking evidence for a possible federal hate crime charge. If Zimmerman is charged and found guilty of a federal hate crime involving murder, he could face the death penalty. U.S. Justice Department spokeswoman Xochitl Hinojosa said the department is conducting its own, separate investigation, and has refused to comment on the special prosecutor's findings.