(CNN) — George Zimmerman is not guilty of the murder of Trayvon Martin, a Florida jury decided late Saturday.
The fact that Zimmerman fired the bullet that killed Martin was never in question, but the verdict means the six-person jury had reasonable doubt that the shooting amounted to a criminal act.
The verdict caps a case that has inflamed passions for well over a year, much of it focused on race and gun rights.
The six-person jury — all women — basically had three choices: to find Zimmerman guilty of second-degree murder; to find him guilty of the lesser charge of manslaughter; or to find him not guilty.
The jurors deliberated for 16½ hours total, including 13 on Saturday alone, before delivering its verdict.
Zimmerman smiled and then shook his lawyer’s hands when he learned his fate. His parents, Robert and Gladys Zimmerman, were seated nearby, but Martin’s parents were not in the courtroom.