Local Legal Expert Sounds-Off On Zimmerman Verdict

July 14, 2013 Updated Jul 14, 2013 at 6:41 PM EDT

By HILARY LANE

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July 14, 2013 Updated Jul 14, 2013 at 6:41 PM EDT

SANFORD, FL (WKBW )- A local criminal attorney says George Zimmerman's acquittal was based on Florida's controversial "Stand Your Ground Law". The law states that a person is justified in using deadly force in self-defense if they have a reasonable belief that they are in danger.

George Zimmerman was found not guilty of second degree murder or the lesser charge of manslaughter in the death of unarmed teenager, Trayvon Martin.

A local criminal defense attorney says he is not surprised by the verdict.

"If you look at 'The Stand Your Ground Law' and what the jury was instructed in respect that Zimmerman had no duty to retreat. He was in his rights to stand his ground and use whatever force necessary once he reasonably thought he was in serious harm or death," said Buffalo Criminal Defense Attorney Barry Covert.

The verdict coming after 16 hours of deliberations and 17 months after George Zimmerman killed Trayvon Martin.

Zimmerman, maintained he shot the teen in self-defense, the jury now agreeing, saying the shooting was not a crime.

Although Zimmerman was acquitted, Martin's family still has the option to file a civil wrongful death lawsuit.