A juror said in an interview made available on Thursday that she feels neighbourhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman got away with murder for fatally shooting unarmed teen Trayvon Martin, but that there wasn’t enough evidence at trial to convict him under Florida law.
Mr. Zimmerman was acquitted earlier this month of second-degree murder and manslaughter charges in the 2012 slaying of the unarmed 17-year-old. The Miami teenager was shot and killed during a confrontation with Mr. Zimmerman. The case spawned heated national debates about racial profiling and the so-called Stand Your Ground self-defence laws in Florida and other States.
Juror B29 told ABC News that she favoured convicting Mr. Zimmerman of second-degree murder when deliberations began by the six-member, all-women jury.
“I was the juror that was going to give them a hung jury,” she said. “I fought to the end.”
But by the second day of deliberating, she realised there wasn’t enough proof to convict the 29-year-old neighbourhood watch volunteer of a crime.
“George Zimmerman got away with murder, but you can’t get away from God,” she said. “And at the end of the day, he’s going to have a lot of questions and answers he has to deal with.”
Mr. Zimmerman was seen publicly for the first time last week when he assisted a family after their vehicle flipped over on a Florida highway.
Juror B29 is the second panellist to go public with what went on during deliberations earlier this month. She allowed her face to be shown and used her first name, Maddy, unlike Juror B37, who was interviewed on CNN last week with her face obscured.
Four jurors, not including the one interviewed by ABC, issued a statement last week saying the opinions expressed by Juror B37 to CNN’s Anderson Cooper did not represent their views.
That juror said the actions of Mr. Zimmerman and Martin both led to the teenager’s fatal shooting, but that Mr. Zimmerman didn’t actually break the law.
Juror B29 also told ABC that she didn’t believe race was an issue at the trial. Though the judge so far has refused to release the names or biographical information about the jurors, B29 said she was 36 years old and Puerto Rican.