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article imageMan who shot at George Zimmerman guilty of attempted murder

By Arthur Weinreb     Sep 17, 2016 in Crime
Sanford - A Sanford, Florida jury found Matthew Apperson guilty of three charges that resulted from an altercation he had with George Zimmerman in May 2015. The incident arose from an initial act of road rage.
After a week long trial, the jury of four men and two women deliberated for a little less than four hours yesterday. They found Apperson guilty of attempted-second degree murder, shooting into an occupied vehicle and aggravated assault with a firearm.
On May 11, 2015, Mother's Day, Zimmerman was driving in Lake Mary, Florida on his way to visit his mother. Apperson pulled along side of Zimmerman's vehicle and fired a shot into it with his .357 Magnum. The bullet missed Zimmerman but he received minor injuries from the shattered glass. Although initially thought to be an act of road rage, it was later determined Zimmerman and Apperson had had a previous encounter.
On Sept. 9, 2014, Zimmerman and Apperson ended up along driving alongside each other. According to Zimmerman, Apperson made comments about Zimmerman's shooting of Trayvon Martin. Apperson said Zimmerman threatened to kill him like he did Martin and Apperson then drove into a gas station to call 911. He said Zimmerman followed him into the station and blocked his car off although Zimmerman quickly left the scene when Apperson went into the store to call 911.
At trial, Apperson admitted shooting into Zimmerman's truck but said he did so in self-defence. He claimed as a result of their previous encounter, Zimmerman brandished a gun and Apperson feared for his life. But Apperson later admitted under oath if Zimmerman did pull out a gun, he didn't see it. He claimed his fear was as a result of the previous incident.
Prosecutor Stewart Stone argued Apperson began the May 2015 incident by chasing Zimmerman's vehicle. This pursuit was caught on surveillance cameras from a nearby post office. He told the jury Apperson's behaviour did not meet the standard for self-defence and he was not acting reasonably. Stone also argued Zimmerman's vehicle had tinted windows that were rolled all the way up and there is no way the defendant could have seen a gun if in fact Zimmerman had pulled one out.
According to the police arrest affidavit, Apperson seemed to have been fixated on Zimmerman.
Apperson's attorney attacked Zimmerman's credibility and told the jury Zimmerman was "a belligerent, obnoxious liar." The attorney made so many references to the shooting of Martin, the prosecutor accused him of trying that case again.
The prosecutor conceded Zimmerman is not a boy scout but argued in this particular case, he was clearly the victim.
Zimmerman gained international notoriety after he shot and killed Martin, a 17-year-old unarmed black man, in 2012. Zimmerman was acquitted of murder the following year on the ground of self-defence and both the shooting and acquittal sparked racial tension throughout the United States.
Apperson has been in custody since July 2015 after he was accused of urinating on a neighbour's property. He was later convicted of disorderly conduct and sentenced to 60 days in jail.
Apperson is facing a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison on the attempted second-degree murder charge. He will be sentenced on Oct. 17.
More about George Zimmerman, Trayvon Martin, Road rage, Attempted Murder, zimmerman shot at
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