Will George Zimmerman walk, or will he be walked handcuffed to prison?
Six women on a Florida jury could decide that as early as Saturday morning, when they resume deliberations in Zimmerman's trial in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin.
The jury officially got the case at about 2:30 p.m. Friday, after 14 days of testimony punctuated by at times dramatic closing arguments over the past two days.
Judge Debra Nelson read off 27 pages of instructions that outlined the jury's three options: convict Zimmerman of second-degree murder in Martin's death, convict him of manslaughter or find him not guilty. She approved the manslaughter option on Thursday, over the defense's vehement objection.
"All of us are depending on you to make a wise and legal decision," Nelson told the jurors.
About two hours later, the judge noted the jury's request for an inventory of the evidence presented -- something that they got delivered to them at about 5 p.m. But the jurors only deliberated for an hour longer, at which point they asked to cut off talk for the night.
They'll be back at it Saturday, starting at 9 a.m.
Hanging in the balance is what happens to Zimmerman, and beyond that a verdict's inevitable impact on the many others nationwide who have been moved by the case.
Some feel passionately that he did nothing wrong and killed Martin only to save his own life. Others blame Zimmerman for, in their view, profiling the unarmed 17-year-old, ignoring a 911 dispatcher's direction not to follow him and shooting him without justification.
Given those strong feelings, the case spawned a vigorous debate about gun violence and race: Martin was black, while Zimmerman is Hispanic. And it still does, so much so that authorities in Seminole County and elsewhere steeled for the possibility of violent reactions to the verdict.
"As Americans, we entrust our fellow citizens with a solemn duty," Seminole County Sheriff Donald Eslinger said moments after the jury got the case. "At times, as individuals, we may not agree with this verdict. But as communities within our country, we respect the rule of law."
All this emotion traces back to the evening of February, 26, 2012. Martin was walking back to his father's fiancee's house from a Sanford convenience store -- where he'd bought Skittles and a drink -- the hood of his sweatshirt raised as rain fell. The Miami teen was spotted by Zimmerman, a neighborhood watch volunteer, who called police and, at one point, got out of his car.
The now 29-year-old Zimmerman never denied shooting Martin, following an altercation between the two. The question is why.
Prosecutor: Zimmerman 'had hate in his heart'
Since opening arguments on June 24, dozens testified on everything from what they heard that night, what they saw or believed happened, and whose panicked voice they think can be heard screaming on a pivotal 911 call. Both sides presented extensive info -- the gun, pictures, interviews that Zimmerman conducted and more -- for the jury to consider.
Instructing the jury Friday afternoon, Judge Nelson told the six women that Zimmerman didn't have to prove anything. The prosecution does, however, have to convince them he's guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, she said.
She told the jury not to use Zimmerman's decision not to testify against him and to be cognizant of the specific charges. She told them "your memory should be your asset" -- among other pieces of advice.
"It is up to you decide which evidence is reliable," Nelson said. "You should use your common sense."
Attorneys made their cases before jurors began their deliberations.
Assistant State Attorney Bernie de la Rionda went first Thursday, characterizing Zimmerman -- the only one of the two involved in the altercation who the prosecutor said is still able to make his case -- as untrustworthy. De la Rionda picked apart interviews Zimmerman had given to police and in the media.
Why would a scared man get out of his car and walk around after being told by a 911 dispatcher not to follow the victim, the prosecutor asked in his closing argument? Did Zimmerman walk toward Martin, or did Martin come after him? Should Zimmerman have had more than a bloody nose and scratches on his head if he'd had his head slammed on the ground by the victim?
Zimmerman "always has an excuse, or they catch him in a lie," de la Rionda said.
The prosecution got one last chance to present its case Friday, when Assistant State Attorney John Guy rebutted the defense's own closing argument.
Guy echoed many points de la Rionda had made, characterizing Zimmerman as a frustrated wannabe police officer who took the law into his own hands. He had decided Martin was one of the criminals who had been victimizing his neighborhood, Guy argued, then trailed him against the advice of police dispatchers and wrongly shot him to death.
"The defendant didn't shoot Trayvon Martin because he had to," Guy said. "He shot him because he wanted to. That's the bottom line."