SANFORD, Fla. (CN) - A jury late Saturday acquitted George Zimmerman of the second-degree murder of Trayvon Martin, finding Zimmerman killed the unarmed black teenager in self defense.
The six-woman jury also acquitted Zimmerman of the lesser offense of manslaughter.
The jury brought in at verdict at 10 p.m. Saturday, after 16 hours of deliberations in two days.
Zimmerman's bond was returned, his GPS device was cut off and evidence released.
"You have no further business with this court," Seminole County Judge Debra Nelson told Zimmerman, 29.
Jurors' names will not be released until a time to be determined by Nelson.
The jury asked Nelson for clarification of manslaughter Saturday evening before the verdict. They returned to deliberate by 7 p.m. Saturday.
Protesters gathered outside the Seminole County Criminal Justice Center all day Saturday awaiting the verdict. They chanted "Nationwide protest!" and "No justice, no peace" after the verdict was read.
Zimmerman claims he killed Martin in self-defense under Florida's "stand your ground" law. He was charged with second-degree murder for the February 2012 shooting and faced life in prison.
He was not arrested for 44 days after the shooting, sparking national outrage.
The case became controversial because prosecutors believed Zimmerman, a white Hispanic, profiled Martin and followed him because he was black.
"Our hearts go out to the victim's family and all victim's of crime," prosecutor Angela Corey said after the verdict. "We never know what a jury is going to do. We charge what we believe we can prove."
Prosecutor Bernie De La Rionda added: "I am disappointed, as we all are, with the verdict. But I respect the process and the jury's efforts."
Zimmerman's attorney Don West said: "We proved George Zimmerman was not guilty."
Martin's father, Tracy Martin, tweeted after the verdict: "Though I am broken hearted, my faith is unshattered."
Defense Attorney Mark O'Mara said: "This is a tragedy, but it's not one that George is responsible for. George Zimmerman just wants his life back."
Jurors said they were not interested in speaking to reporters.
Here is Courthouse News' report on the trial's closing arguments.
(Saturday, July 13) - Two hours after receiving its instructions on Friday, the jury in George Zimmerman's murder trial asked for a list of all the evidence, then called it a day at 6 p.m., to resume this morning.
The all-woman jury began deliberating Zimmerman's fate at 2:28 p.m., after nearly five hours of closing arguments and rebuttal.
Zimmerman is charged with second-degree murder, but Seminole County Judge Debra Nelson said the jury may consider a lesser offense of manslaughter.
"It's natural to make assumptions on first impressions," Zimmerman's attorney Mark O'Mara said in his closing statement Friday. "I call this case the bizarro case because of how many 'what ifs' you have in the state's case. The burden of proof is on the state."
O'Mara told jurors there should be a presumption of innocence.
"The state must prove so there will be no doubt in your mind that George Zimmerman is guilty of second-degree murder," he said. "They must prove to you beyond a reasonable doubt that George Zimmerman did not act in self-defense."
He said Zimmerman did not have ill will against young black men, as the state suggested.