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Prosecutors contend George Zimmerman provoked confrontation with Trayvon Martin

George Zimmerman, who shot and killed 17-year-old Florida teen Trayvon Martin, entered a plea of not guilty to second-degree murder. NBC's Kerry Sanders reports.

Updated at 7:52 p.m. ET: George Zimmerman pursued Florida teenager Trayvon Martin as he tried to run home and provoked a confrontation before shooting Martin in the chest during a struggle, prosecutors contended in court documents made public Thursday.

The allegations appear in a probable cause affidavit prepared in support of a second-degree murder charge against Zimmerman, who made his first court appearance earlier in the day in Sanford, Fla. A judge found probable cause to proceed with the case based on the affidavit, and Zimmerman entered a not guilty plea, his attorney said.

Zimmerman's arraignment was set for May 29. The charge carries a maximum sentence of life in prison.



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In the two-page affidavit, which was filed with the court Thursday afternoon, investigators for special prosecutor Angela Corey said Zimmerman "confronted Martin and a struggle ensued." Zimmerman has claimed he shot in self-defense Feb. 26 in Sanford after Martin knocked him to the ground and began beating him about the face.

Read the probable cause affidavit (.pdf — includes offensive language)

Martin "was on his way back to the townhouse where he was living when he was profiled by George Zimmerman," the affidavit says. "Martin was unarmed and was not committing a crime."

Zimmerman called police for advice because he thought Martin was suspicious, the affidavit says. He was told to wait for officers to arrive, and when the police dispatcher repeated his instructions for Zimmerman to stop, Zimmerman disregarded him, it says.

During the police call, the affidavit says, Zimmerman "made reference to people he felt had committed and gotten away with break-ins in his neighborhood." While talking about Martin, it alleges, he referred to "these f---ing punks" and "these a--holes" who "always get away."

During this time, the affidavit says, "Martin was on the phone with a friend and described to her what was happening. The witness advised that Martin was scared because he was being followed through the complex by an unknown male and didn't know why."

When Martin tried to run home, "Zimmerman got out of his vehicle and followed Martin," it says.

"Zimmerman confronted Martin and a struggle ensued," it says, adding: "Zimmerman shot Martin in the chest. When police arrived Zimmerman admitted shooting Martin."

A person's cries for help could be heard in recorded 911 calls, the affidavit says, and Martin's mother "identified the voice crying for help as Trayvon Martin's voice."

The use of the word "profiled" is likely to turn out to be a flashpoint of debate. Martin's parents have consistently alleged that Zimmerman engaged in racial profiling in targeting their son, but the affidavit doesn't say that Zimmerman's choices were based on Martin's race. At the same time, as is typical in such probable cause documents, the investigators caution that the affidavit doesn't include all of the evidence they have gathered.

Trayvon Martin's mother retracts 'accident' characterization

Bond hearing later
Zimmerman's attorney, Mark O'Mara, could have requested Zimmerman's release on bond at Thursday's hearing, but he told reporters he chose to wait until emotions had settled down, "probably within the next couple of weeks." He did ask that all other records in the case be sealed, and the judge agreed.

George Zimmerman's attorney, Mark O'Mara, speaks to reporters after his client's first court appearance Thursday in Sanford, Fla.

O'Mara described Zimmerman as "tired, given the intensity" of the attention his case has drawn.

"He's glad the process is in place," O'Mara said. "... Let's let the system work."

Assistant State Attorney Bernardo de la Rionda told reporters he couldn't talk about the case until the May 29 arraignment.

"We look forward to presenting the evidence at that time," he said. "... We will make all arguments in the courtroom, and that's where it should be."

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