Matthew Apperson, the man who shot at George Zimmerman last May, has been convicted of attempted second-degree murder. From CNN:
Matthew Apperson, 27, also was found guilty of shooting into a vehicle and aggravated assault with a firearm, Michelle Kennedy, spokeswoman for the 18th Judicial Circuit, said.
A jury deliberated for four hours. Apperson will be sentenced October 17.
In case you’ve forgotten this incident, Apperson claimed that last May Zimmerman threatened him with a gun while the two were driving and that he fired a shot through the window of Zimmerman’s Honda Ridgeline in self-defense. However, prosecutors pointed out that Zimmerman’s window had been up when the shot was fired, causing glass to shatter and injure Zimmerman. From the Orlando Sentinel:
To discredit Apperson’s testimony that he felt in fear of his life when he saw Zimmerman flash a gun first, Stone relied on two pieces of evidence: Zimmerman’s window was rolled up when the shot was fired and his windows were too darkly tinted for anyone to see inside. Police officers and crime scene analysts verified that information during the trial.
Apperson and Zimmerman had a previous encounter a year earlier in 2014 when Apperson told Zimmerman he was wrong to shoot Trayvon Martin. The Orlando Sentinel notes that the Martin case was brought up repeatedly by Apperson’s defense attorney:
Defense attorney Michael LaFay, in his closing argument, attacked Zimmerman’s credibility as a major witness in the case. He repeatedly referenced the Trayvon case, questioning Zimmerman about his first encounter with the 17-year-old. LaFay also called Zimmerman’s ex-girlfriend to testify about a fight between her and an armed Zimmerman, which prompted her to call 911.
As Jazz Shaw pointed out last year when this incident first became news, liberal website all reported the story with some variation of the headline “George Zimmerman involved in shooting.” That’s strictly true but today’s verdict clarifies he was involved as the victim of an attempted murder. As Assistant State Attorney Stewart Stone said, “no matter how you feel about George Zimmerman, he he can still be a victim of a crime, and he was in this case.”