Family marks one year since Trayvon Martin's death
UNDATED (NBC) -- It has been one year since Trayvon Martin, an unarmed black teenager, was shot and killed by George Zimmerman in the small town of Sanford, Florida.
Zimmerman said he was acting in self defense while protecting his neighborhood.
Trayvon martin's family maintains their son was walking home from the store when he was shot and killed a year ago by George Zimmerman, a volunteer neighborhood watchman.
"February 26, Trayvon Martin was walking home from a 7-11 and, as his mother said, had every right to do so without being pursued or chased,” said Martin’s family attorney, Benjamin Crump.
Zimmerman argues Martin attacked him and he shot the teen in self defense.
Initially, Sanford Police decided not to charge Zimmerman.
At the core is Florida’s stand your ground law.
The case attracted immediate national attention.
"Thank you for all of your support is means a lot to me and my family,” Sybrina Fulton, Trayvon’s mother said at a rally from Florida congresswoman Corrine Brown.
"I want an arrest, I want a trial, I want a fair trial," said Rep. Brown last March.
Zimmerman’s attorney is worried that his client may not be able to get that fair trial because of the emotional nature of the case.
"I think there is a lot of emotion wrapped around the case and we 're worried that some of those emotions are still negative that that may play out against George,” said Zimmerman’s attorney, Mark O’Mara.
Police charged George Zimmerman with second-degree murder. On April 12, he appeared in court, maintaining that he acted in self defense.
Earlier this month, the Martin family marked what would have been Trayvon's 18th birthday with a ceremony outside of the courthouse.
George Zimmerman sued NBCUniversal for defamation and the company has strongly denied his allegations.
Meanwhile, the criminal trial against George Zimmerman is set to start in June.
There is a hearing on the stand your ground portion of the case in April.