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Zimmerman trial expected to be emotionally charged

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Updated: 6/24/2013 5:02 pm
(NBC News) Testimony is underway in the trial of George Zimmerman, the neighborhood watch volunteer accused in the shooting death of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin.

The emotions and intensity of this trial were evident from the initial words prosecutors shared with the jury.

Prosecutor John Guy recited a profanity-laced statement about "punks" that "always get away" from George Zimmerman's initial phone call to police.

"He started out with dramatic, surprising words, but he wanted to define George Zimmerman first and memorably before anything else happened in this trial," says legal analyst Kendall Coffey.

The state described Zimmerman as a man on a mission, someone with a semi-automatic pistol who "profiled" a teenager who was out to buy some candy and a soft drink.

They called his descriptions of what happened that night, a "web of lies", citing the medical examiners report while questioning Zimmerman's statement to police that Martin initiated their confrontation.

"They took wooden sticks and they scraped his finger nails. Trayvon Martin's. No blood of George Zimmerman, no DNA of George Zimmerman," Guy told the jury.

"He didn't shoot him because he had to, but for the worst reason, he wanted to," Guy added.

The defense opened with a slow, serious, and deliberate presentation.

"My focus is on the detail and if I have to sacrifice passion it's not because I don't feel passionate about this case. It's been my life's work for the last year," said defense attorney Don West.

West used visual aids during a step-by-step discussion of the events, evidence and legal issues involved in the case.

"George Zimmerman is not guilty of murder, he shot Trayvon Martin in self defense after being viciously attacked," West stated.

The jury will ultimately make that decision.

Editor's note: George Zimmerman has sued NBCUniversal for defamation, and the company has strongly denied his allegations.

-- Jay Gray, NBC News, reports

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