Even though the State of Florida has charged George Zimmerman with second-degree murder, the Feds may still charge him with a federal hate crime. If found guilty, 28-year-old Zimmerman could be face the death penalty.
FBI officials confirmed to ABC News that the investigation is still ongoing, as they continue to question witnesses in Sanford, Florida, but say the “hammer won’t be dropped” anytime soon.
Zimmerman admitted to killing Trayvon on the night of February 26th in an act of self-defense. Zimmerman is currently facing a second-degree murder charge, which carries a maximum possible sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole.
But if Zimmerman is charged and found guilty of a federal hate crime involving murder, he could face the death penalty.
The FBI will have to prove that Zimmerman acted out of hatred toward Trayvon because he was black and that’s why he came into contact with him and why he shot and killed him.
Federal hate crime charges are crimes involving kidnapping, sexual assault or murder, and can be punishable by life in prison or the death penalty.