SANFORD - There will be no verdict today in the George Zimmerman murder trial.
At 6 p.m., the judge called the jury into the courtroom and announced that they can cease deliberations for the day and return to continue in the morning. The jurors had asked to recess for the evening, and the lawyers agreed.
At 9 a.m. tomorrow, they will resume trying to determine whether Zimmerman is guilty of murder in the shooting death of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin.
About two hours into deliberations, the jury had their first question for the judge and the attorneys: They requested a list of all evidence exhibits, numbered and with descriptions.
Circuit Judge Debra Nelson directed the clerk to compile a comprehensive list.
A verdict is possible as soon as later today in the closely watched, ultra-high-profile trial.
The jury can decide whether Zimmerman is guilty of second-degree murder, guilty of manslaughter, or not guilty.
If the jury finds Zimmerman guilty of second-degree murder, he faces a maximum of life in prison. If they find him guilty of manslaughter, he faces a maximum 30-year prison sentence.
The jury is made up of six women - five of them white.
How long will they deliberate today? That's up to them.
Now that deliberations have started, the pace of the trial is in the hands of the jury.
According to court spokeswoman Michelle Kennedy, the comfort of the jury is a top priority of the court.
As the six women consider the evidence inside the jury room, there is no predetermined schedule that they must follow to come to a speedy decision on a verdict, she said.
“They will deliberate through the weekend if they choose,” Kennedy said. “If they indicate they need a day off, they will get one.”
Zimmerman, 29, is charged with second-degree murder in the Feb. 26, 2012, shooting. He says he was attacked by the unarmed, black Miami Gardens teen, and fired the fatal shot in self-defense.
Deliberations begin as the trial nears the end of its fifth week. It began June 10 with jury selection.
During the trial, jurors have heard from an array of witnesses, including police, forensics experts and Zimmerman's neighbors at the Retreat at Twin Lakes, where he shot Trayvon amid a struggle minutes after reporting the teen to police as suspicious.
No one who testified saw how the fatal conflict between the Neighborhood Watch volunteer and the high school junior from Miami Gardens began.
In his closing argument Thursday, prosecutor Bernie de la Rionda told jurors Zimmerman was a "wannabe cop," tired of criminals victimizing his community, who decided to take the law into his own hands when he saw Trayvon walking through the rain and assumed he was up to no good.
"A teenager is dead because a man made certain assumptions," de la Rionda said. "... and because his assumptions were wrong, Trayvon Benjamin Martin no longer walks on this Earth."