Zimmerman Trial In Trayvon Martin Case Begins With Opening Statements

After sixteen months of national debate over racial issues and gun laws, the man accused of shooting 17-year-old Trayvon Martin last February in Florida is standing trial. Though having plead not guilty to charges on second-degree murder, former night watch volunteer George Zimmerman and defense team will argue self-defense claims as authorities paint it as a case of racial profiling.

Prosecutor John Guy's opening statements, which commenced Monday (June 24), were laced with F-bombs, Fox News reports.

"Fucking punks,” Guy said in open court, quoting Zimmerman's words to a non-emergency police dispatcher. “These assholes, they always get away."

“Those were the words in that grown man’s mouth as he followed, in the dark, a 17-year-old boy who he didn’t know,” Guy continued. “And excuse my language, but those were his words, not mine.”

The defense is expected to convince the jury that race was not a factor in the case. "We're trying so hard in this case not to make it what everybody outside the courthouse wants it to be," defense counsel Mark O'Mara said.

Also generating headlines is the jury itself as only six women were chosen to participate. “Anyone can use a firearm to defend themselves against a larger, stronger assailant,” Cord Byrd told CNN. “I think the women will understand the self-defense aspect of this case.”

Since the death of their son, parents Sybrina Fulton and Tracy Martin have been seeking justice for Trayvon, making the race issue and holes in Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” law known throughout communities all over the country.

Before opening statements began, Martin's mother told the press, "I ask that you pray for me and my family because I don't want any other mother to experience what I'm going through."—Anthony Centeno

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John Legend Reacts To Being Named People's ‘Sexiest Man Alive’

John Legend was unveiled as People magazine’s “Sexist Man Alive” on Tuesday (Nov. 12) and he's admittedly surprised by the honor. Nonetheless, Legend thanked the outlet for recognizing his sex appeal, especially after Idris Elba snagged the title last year.

Legend tweeted a split photo of himself in 1995 next to a current image of Elba along with a caption revealing that his younger self would be “perplexed” by the “Sexiest Man Alive” title. “Hell, 2019 John is about as equally perplexed,” he added. “But thank you @People for finding me sexy. I'll take it.”

1995 John would be very perplexed to be following 2018 @IdrisElba as #SexiestManAlive. Hell, 2019 John is about as equally perplexed but thank you @People for finding me sexy. I'll take it 🤓 pic.twitter.com/Gw1la5Ebv4

— John Legend (@johnlegend) November 13, 2019

Chrissy Teigen also found the humor in her husband’s new title and changed her Twitter bio to “currently sleeping with people’s sexiest man alive.”

The 40-year-old singer EGOT winner (Grammy, Emmy, Tony and Oscar) was “excited but scared” to add his People’s Sexist Man Alive to his list of accolades. “It’s a lot of pressure,” Legend told the magazine. “Everyone’s going to be picking me apart to see if I’m sexy enough to hold this title. I’m [also] following Idris Elba, which is not fair and is not nice to me!”

On a more serious note, the father of two credited his parents with teaching him humility and kindness, and beamed about his family.

“I’m so proud that I have a wife and two kids I’m so in love with and so connected to. I’m also so proud of my career. I love writing songs and performing on stage. I get a lot of joy from it and give a lot of joy to other people. I’m pretty at ease with myself now!”

[email protected] is PEOPLE’s #SexiestManAlive 2019 https://t.co/lxXce6dulv pic.twitter.com/YooHLW3vSM

— People (@people) November 13, 2019

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Trailblazers Portrayed In 'Hidden Figures' To Receive Congressional Gold Medals

Engineers Mary Jackson and Christine Darden, mathematician Katherine Johnson and computer programmer Dorothy Vaughn are being honored with the highest U.S. civilian award.

The four trailblazers, three of whom were depicted in the film Hidden Figures, will receive Congressional Gold Medal, ABC News reports. U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) helped introduce the Hidden Figures Congressional Gold Medal Act, a bipartisan bill signed by President Donald Trump last Friday (Nov. 8).

As the highest civilian award in the U.S., the Congressional Gold Medal recognizes those who have performed an achievement that has had a lasting impact on American history and culture.

Johnson, who celebrated her 101st birthday last summer, calculated trajectories for numerous NASA space missions beginning in the early 1950s. Vaughn, who died in 2008, led the West Area Computing unit for nine years, and was the first black supervisors at the national Advisory Committee for Aeronautics, which later became NASA.

Jackson, who died in 2005, was NASA’s first black engineer. Darden became an engineer at NASA 16 years after Jackson and went on to “revolutionize aeronautic design.” She was also the first black person to be promoted to Senior Executive at NASA's Langley Research Center, and has also authored more than 50 articles on aeronautics design.

“Katherine Johnson, Dorothy Vaughan, Mary Jackson, and Dr. Christine Darden made monumental contributions to science and our nation,” said Senator Harris. “The groundbreaking accomplishments of these four women, and all of the women who contributed to the success of NASA, helped us win the space race but remained in the dark far too long. I am proud our bill to honor these remarkable women has passed Congress. These pioneers remain a beacon for Black women across the country, both young and old.”

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Courtesy of Crawford Family, WVLT

Authorities Release Grisly Details Of Alexis Crawford’s Murder

Alexis Crawford was strangled to death before her body was thrown in a trash bin, the Fulton Country Superior Court revealed in court documents released on Tuesday (Nov. 12).

Crawford died on Oct. 31, reports the Atlanta-Journal Constitution. Four days earlier, the 21-year-old Clark Atlanta University senior filed a police report against her roommate, Jordyn Jones's boyfriend, Barron Bentley, accusing him of sexual assault. Crawford had a rape kit performed on her at a local hospital. Crawford's decision to go to police caused tension between her and Jones, which erupted in a physical fight.

“As a result of the physical altercation, Barron Brantley choked the victim until she was deceased,” the Atlanta Police Department said.

After killing Crawford, Jones and Brantley, both age 21, stuffed her body into a “plastic bin” and transported it to Exchange Park in Decatur, Ga., where they left her remains.

Crawford and Jones knew each other for at least two years, and became close while studying at Clark Atlanta. The Michigan native even visited Crawford’s family’s home during the holidays.

Brantley confessed to Crawford's murder and led police to her body last Friday (Nov. 7). Jones was arrested the following day.

Brantley and Jones are both charged with felony murder and are being held without bond.

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