Martin's family and supporters, though, have long had a different story.
One of the first to tell it was Tracy Martin, who initially addressed reporters last March 8, trying to raise the case's profile and hike pressure on authorities. He and, soon, others suggested Zimmerman had targeted his son, an African-American youth wearing a hooded sweatshirt, because of his race.
The parents' legion of supporters grew exponentially as the weeks wore on after the shooting, with no one charged. They created a petition on the website Change.org calling for Zimmerman's arrest. Within a week, it was the second most-popular petition in the website's history, with 877,110 signatures.
Protests drawing thousands of people sprung up nationwide demanding "Justice for Trayvon" and blasting local authorities' response. As their reason for not immediately arresting Zimmerman, police cited Florida's "stand your ground" law, which states that people who feel threatened don't have to retreat from danger and can use deadly force to protect themselves.
Zimmerman was charged on April 11, with a probable cause affidavit stating he "profiled" Martin and disregarded a 911 dispatcher's request that he wait for police.
The weeks that followed produced more news. For example, Zimmerman posted $150,000 bail, only to have it revoked after the judge said he'd mislead the court about his financial situation, including tens of thousands of dollars he'd raised online for his defense fund.