GEORGE ZIMMERMAN’S fate is in the hands of six women.
Five white women and a woman who sources said is of mixed black and Hispanic heritage were chosen Thursday to serve on the jury in the racially charged trial of the neighborhood watchman charged with gunning down black teenager Trayvon Martin.
Four alternates were also chosen — two white women, one white man and a Hispanic male.
Before the jury was sworn in, Judge Debra Nelson asked Zimmerman if he was satisfied with the panel. “Yes, your honor,” he replied. Opening statements in the trial will begin at 9 a.m. Monday.
It took two weeks to pick this panel for a case that caused a national uproar and reignited the debate over unequal justice when Sanford, Fla., police refused at first to charge Zimmerman with a crime.
Nelson has ordered that the jury remain anonymous and sequestered.
The only minority on the panel is a married wom- an who lived in Chicago when Martin was killed. She works at a nursing home and has eight kids.
Zimmerman, 29, has pleaded not guilty and faces life in prison if he is convicted. He remains free on $1 million bond.
There is no dispute that Zimmerman fatally shot 17-yearold Martin in February 2012 while the unarmed teen was walking to his father’s girlfriend’s home in a gated community outside Orlando. A cop wanna-be, Zim
mer- man regularly patrolled the development.
Martin, who lived in Miami, was returning from a 7-Eleven where he had purchased a package of Skittles and an Arizona Watermelon Fruit Juice Cocktail.
Prosecutors contend Zimmerman profiled the hoodie-clad Martin and continued to tail the teen after police dispatcher Sean Noffke told him, “Okay, we don’t need you to do that.”
Zimmerman’s lawyers claim he shot the teenager with a licensed handgun in self-defense after Martin jumped him and beat him up.
George Zimmerman and Trayvon Martin