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Zimmerman Juror B29 to ABC News: 'He got away with murder'

Crime, Law and JusticeJustice SystemTrayvon MartinHomicideGeorge ZimmermanShootingsFamily

The only minority member of the six-woman jury that acquitted George Zimmerman said Thursday that Zimmerman “got away with murder” and that she aches for Trayvon Martin’s grieving parents, ABC News reports.

"You can't put the man in jail even though in our hearts we felt he was guilty," said the woman, who called herself only Maddy and was earlier identified as Juror B29 during the trial. "But we had to grab our hearts and put it aside and look at the evidence."

Juror B29, who became the first juror to show her face in the interview with “Good Morning America” anchor Robin Roberts, said there wasn’t enough proof under Florida law to convict Zimmerman.

"George Zimmerman got away with murder, but you can't get away from God. And at the end of the day, he's going to have a lot of questions and answers he has to deal with," the juror said. "[But] the law couldn't prove it.”

Zimmerman was accused of second-degree murder for fatally shooting Martin once in the chest. The defense said Zimmerman feared for his life when the two got into an altercation in a gated community in Sanford, Fla. Critics said Zimmerman profiled Martin and that his unfounded suspicion of the 17-year-old   led to the confrontation. Martin was black, and Zimmerman is of Latino ancestry.

A 36-year-old nursing assistant and mother of eight, Juror 29B was the only minority on the all-female jury. She is Puerto Rican.

Like Juror B37, who spoke last week on Anderson Cooper's CNN show, Juror B29 maintained that race wasn’t a factor in her deliberations.

She said she pushed for Zimmerman to be convicted of second-degree murder until she decided on the second day of deliberations that there wasn't enough definitive proof.

Zimmerman's defense team argued that he killed Martin in self-defense. The jury was also allowed to consider a lesser charge of manslaughter.

"I was the juror that was going to give them the hung jury. I fought to the end," she said.

She said she doubted that the case should have been brought to trial, calling it a “publicity stunt.” But once it was, she said, the lack of evidence and Florida law left the jury no choice but to acquit.

"The truth is that there was nothing that we could do about it," she said. “I feel the verdict was already told."

She said she owes an apology to Martin’s parents because she feels “like I let them down.”

Now, in the trial’s aftermath, she said she struggles to sleep and sympathizes with the grief Martin’s parents have endured. She said she’s not sure she made the right decision.

“It's hard for me to eat because I feel I was forcefully included in Trayvon Martin's death. And as I carry him on my back, I'm hurting as much [as] Trayvon's Martin's mother because there's no way that any mother should feel that pain," she said.

Since Juror B37’s interview with Cooper last week, a group of four other jurors released a request for privacy and said B37’s opinions were “not in any way representative” of their own. Juror B29 was not among those four jurors.

She had kept her silence but now has become the first to express doubts about her decision.

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benjamin.mueller@latimes.com

Twitter: @benjmueller

 

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
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