Zimmerman juror: George's 'heart was in the right place'

July 16, 2013 at 11:47 PM
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NEW YORK, July 16 (UPI) -- One of the jurors who acquitted George Zimmerman in the death of unarmed Florida teen Trayvon Martin told CNN she had "no doubt" Zimmerman feared for his life.

The woman, identified only as Juror B37, said she thought Zimmerman's "heart was in the right place" on the rainy night he killed Martin in Sanford, Fla., but said he didn't use "good judgment" by not following a 911 operator's instructions not to get out of his car and follow Martin.

"I think George Zimmerman is a man whose heart was in the right place, but just got displaced by the vandalism in the neighborhoods and wanting to catch these people so badly that he went above and beyond what he really should have done. But I think his heart was in the right place. It just went terribly wrong," she said.

"When he was in the car, and he had called 911, he shouldn't have gotten out of that car. ...

"I think George got in a little bit too deep, which he shouldn't have been there. But Trayvon decided that he wasn't going to let him scare him ... and I think Trayvon got mad and attacked him," she said.

"He had a right to defend himself," the juror said about Zimmerman. "If he felt threatened that his life was going to be taken away from him, or he was going to have bodily harm, he had a right."

A jury of six women found Zimmerman not guilty of second-degree murder and manslaughter. Zimmerman, a Hispanic-American neighborhood watch volunteer, contended he shot Martin in self-defense.

Four of the other jurors released a statement Tuesday in response to Juror B37's comments, saying:

"We, the undersigned jurors, understand there is a great deal of interest in this case. But we ask you to remember that we are not public officials and we did not invite this type of attention into our lives.

"We also wish to point out that the opinions of Juror B37, expressed on the Anderson Cooper show were her own, and not in any way representative of the jurors listed below."

Juror B37 earlier said she intended to write a book about the trial with her lawyer husband but later said she had changed her mind.

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