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Sanford prepares for Zimmerman trial

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Updated: 7/10/2013 9:32 am
SANFORD, Fla. -- There's no memorial outside the neighborhood where Trayvon Martin was killed.  There are no protests outside the Sanford City Hall.  But in the parking lot of the Seminole County Courthouse, media platforms are being set up and the small town is getting ready for another high profile trial. In one week, George Zimmerman will be tried for second degree murder.

Sanford resident Dottie Blankenship said, "They're making too much of a big deal out of it, like they did with Casey Anthony.  And it consumes everybody's life.  Why?"

The trial has the entire town talking, with many people just as worried about what could happen outside the courtroom as what happens inside.  "Can Zimmerman get a fair trial in a township that's supposed to be racially divided?" asked Hank Blankenship.

"What is it going to stir up?" Dottie wondered.  "What other emotions is it going to stir up in people?"

Emotions ran high after Martin was killed. Forty days would pass before Zimmerman was arrested.  That created a racial divide.

"I think race is always an issue, not so much just here in Sanford," said resident Michael Smith.  "Bringing light to it is not necessarily a bad thing."

Some people in Sanford believe race relations have actually improved since Martin's death.  And they're anxious to see if that will continue once a verdict is reached.

Smith said, "It's something that needs to be put behind us so we can move on."

Jury selection for George Zimmerman begins next Monday.  Count on Action News for complete coverage.

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