It is true that the Marley Lion case received little news coverage outside the Charleston area, but the comparison to the Trayvon Martin case is something of a false equivalency. In the Trayvon Martin case, there was never any doubt as to the identity of his killer (George Zimmerman), yet several weeks elapsed before the shooter was charged with a crime and taken into custody — a fact which created controversy and fostered the public perception (correct or not) that the case would never have been adjudicated had it not been widely publicized in the media, and that the race of the victim was a significant issue in the decision about whether to prosecute the shooter (as well as an element of the crime itself). In the
Marley Lion case, the identity of the killer(s) was initially unknown until likely suspects were determined through police investigation; once those suspects were identified, they were promptly arrested and charged with a multiplicity of crimes, hence Lion’s murder was never associated with a public perception of “justice denied” or the suggestion that his race was an element of either the commission or prosecution of his killing.
The sad fact is that the U.S. sees about 16,000 homicides per year, a number which precludes more than a scant handful of them receiving national news coverage — generally the ones that do garner national attention involve political or social controversy (Trayvon Martin), lurid details (Jodi Arias), celebrities (O.J. Simpson), or victims such as pregnant women, mothers, and children who are perceived as particularly vulnerable and sympathetic (Laci Peterson, Casey Anthony). Marley Lion’s death, although no less important than anyone else’s, involved none of the extraordinary factors that propel a few select homicide cases into the national spotlight, so — just like thousands of other murder victims — his death remained a local news story.
And ^^^ that is the difference.