USA TODAY US Edition
Prosecutor known to be tenacious
The woman at the forefront of the Trayvon Martin case was appointed by Florida Republican Gov. Rick Scott after 30 years as a state prosecutor and a career that was not without controversy.
Angela Corey is currently prosecuting another high-profile slaying. In that case, Corey charged 12-year-old Cristian Fernandez as an adult with first-degree murder in the death of his 2-year-old half brother. Corey has said the boy will not face trial or spend the rest of his life in jail, but Florida law allows only life in prison for a first-degree murder conviction.
In a news conference Wednesday announcing a second-degree murder charge against Trayvon’s shooter, George Zimmerman, Corey smiled as she described first meeting “those sweet parents” of Trayvon three weeks earlier. The meeting began with a prayer, she said, but no promises.
University of Florida law professor George Dekle, who has known Corey for 25 years, says that she must feel confident she has the evidence to support the charge against Zimmerman. “She has a reputation that is well-deserved as a very good prosecutor who is unafraid to prosecute cases vigorously and unafraid to say ‘no’ to a case if she feels she does not have the evidence,” he says.
In 2006, Corey was fired by Harry Shorstein, former state attorney for Florida’s 4th Judicial Circuit. He said the firing stemmed from a complaint by a law school intern that Corey was abusive toward women. Corey responded with letters criticizing the intern’s professor and dean, Shorstein said. “I said, ‘That was unprofessional; you must apologize.’ She refused.”
Corey has said she was fired because she had announced her intention to run for state prosecutor to replace Shorstein.