Sybrina Fulton, Trayvon Martin's mother, said Thursday that she believes George Zimmerman shot and killed her son by accident and that he should apologize if he is truly remorseful.
According to NY Daily News, Sybrina speaking on NBC's "Today" show on Thursday, said: “I believe it was an accident, I believe that it just got out of control and he couldn’t turn the clock back. I would ask him, 'Did he know that that was a minor, that that was a teenager and that he did not have a weapon?'"
She said to Today host Ann Curry: “One of the things that I still believe in: A person should apologize when they really are actually remorseful for what they've done."
She expressed sympathy for Zimmerman's family, even while mourning the loss of her son: “I understand his family is hurting, but think about our family that lost our teenage son. I mean, it's just very difficult to live with day in and day out. I'm sure his parents can pick up the phone and call him, but we can't pick up the phone and call Trayvon anymore."
Sybrina's comments follow special prosecutor Angela Corey's announcement Wednesday, at a news conference in Jacksonville, Fla., that Zimmerman would be charged with second-degree murder. The charge carries a maximum sentence of life in prison.
MSNBC reports Corey said: "We did not come to this decision lightly. We do not prosecute by public pressure or by petition.
MSNBC reports Zimmerman's new attorney Mark O'Mara, who took over from previous attorneys Hal Uhrig and Craig Sonner, said his client would plead not guilt and would seek to be released on bond. But Trayvon's father said he hoped Zimmerman will not be released on bond. According to NY Daily News, he said: "I feel as though he needs to be locked up, and just prepare himself to be held accountable for what he did." He added: "I think had the Sanford police department done a thorough and impartial investigation from the beginning, George Zimmerman would have been locked up from day one, and there wouldn't have been such a huge public outcry for the arrest."
O'Mara told Today: “He (Zimmerman) is very stressed, very tired. It’s been a difficult several weeks for him. He wants to be out to help with his defense, but he’s doing OK. He is concerned about getting a fair trial and a fair presentation. He is a client who has a lot of hatred focused on him. I’m hoping the hatred settles down...he has the right to his own safety and the case being tried before a judge and jury.”
George Zimmerman (middle) in court with his lawyer on April 12, 2012
O'Mara, however, said he was surprised the prosecutor brought a second degree-murder charge against his client. He said: “I was. Again I’ve only seen the evidence that has been presented through the media. But I was surprised that they charged him at that level."
NY Daily News comments that the severity of the charge shows prosecutors don't believe the shooting was an accident. It suggests they believe Zimmerman intended to Kill Trayvon and did not shoot in self-defense.
MSNBC reports that the attorney of Martin's parents Benjamin Crump, told Today that evidence uncovered so far shows Zimmerman pursued Martin against police advise. He said: “We have always believed that for whatever reason he confronted Trayvon Martin when he had been told not to, and for those reasons Trayvon was killed when he was simply trying to get home to watch the basketball game."
Zimmerman turned himself in to the state police in Jacksonville on Wednesday, soon after special prosecutor Corey announced the charges.
MSNBC reports the case is due for an initial hearing Thursday, at 1:30 p.m. ET.