MIAMI — A juror in the trial of George Zimmerman says the former neighbourhood watch volunteer “got away with murder” when he was acquitted earlier this month in the shooting death of unarmed black teenager Trayvon Martin.
The woman, who is part Hispanic and was identified in court as juror B29, said she would have liked to convict Zimmerman of murdering Martin but her hands were tied by a lack of evidence.
“You can’t put the man in jail even though in our hearts we felt he was guilty,” she said in an interview due to be aired on ABC’s Good Morning America today. “But we had to grab our hearts and put it aside and look at the evidence,” the woman said.
Martin’s mother, Sybrina Fulton, responded to the interview excerpts in a statement yesterday evening.
“It is devastating for my family to hear the comments from juror B29, comments which we already knew in our hearts to be true: that George Zimmerman literally got away with murder,” Fulton said.
Zimmerman, who is white and Hispanic, was found not guilty of murder and manslaughter on July 13 after a racially charged trial. The verdict triggered demonstrations across the United States.
The jurors have remained anonymous under a judge’s order. Juror B29 allowed her face to be shown and used her first name, Maddy. ABC said the 36-year-old woman is Puerto Rican and that she recently moved to Florida from Chicago. She is a nursing assistant and mother of eight.
Juror B29, the only non-white member of the jury, is the second juror to speak in a televised interview, and the first to show her face.
Juror B37, a mother of two who grew up in a military family, appeared last week on CNN with her face obscured. She said she believed Zimmerman, 29, was “justified” in shooting Martin, 17, during a confrontation in a gated community in central Florida in February 2012.
She said she did not think Zimmerman racially profiled Martin and believed Martin attacked Zimmerman first. (Reuters)