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George Zimmerman may have to face hate crime charges from the FBI, in addition to his second-degree murder charge, for shooting and killing unarmed Florida teenager, Trayvon Martin back in February.

If the FBI and Florida prosecutors can prove Zimmerman intentionally went after and murdered Martin because he is African-American, the sentence could escalate to the death penalty.

Zimmerman has plead not guilty and maintains that he shot Martin in self-defense, alleging Martin punched, kicked and knocked him to the ground.

FBI investigators are actively questioning witnesses in the retreat at the Twin Lakes neighborhood in suburban Orlando, seeking evidence for a possible federal hate crime charge. The U.S. Justice Department is also conducting its own investigation into the killing.

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