(CNN) — A jury of six women was chosen Thursday to hear the case of George Zimmerman, the Florida neighborhood watch volunteer accused of murder in the 2012 killing of unarmed teenager Trayvon Martin.
Five of the six are white. They were chosen from among a pool of 500 potential jurors in the closely watched case against Zimmerman, who faces a second-degree murder charge in Martin’s death.
In addition, four alternates — two women, two men, all white — also will hear testimony.
Zimmerman says he shot the 17-year-old Martin in self-defense in a scuffle in his Sanford, Florida, neighborhood, but prosecutors accuse him of unjustly profiling and killing Martin. An initial decision by police not to pursue charges in the case led to the dismissal of the town’s police chief and sparked fresh debates about race relations and gun laws in the United States. Zimmerman is Hispanic; Martin was African-American.
By Matt Smith
CNN’s Grace Wong and Rich Phillips contributed to this report.