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Man who shot at George Zimmerman found guilty of attempted murder

By
Daniel Uria
Robert Apperson, 27, was found guilty of attempted second-degree murder with a firearm aggravated assault with a firearm and shooting into an occupied vehicle stemming from a road rage incident in May, 2015 in which he fired a single bullet from his .357 Magnum into George Zimmerman's truck. Apperson's sentencing is scheduled for Oct. 17 and he faces a minimum 20-year prison sentence. 
 Photo courtesy of Seminole County Sheriff's Office
Robert Apperson, 27, was found guilty of attempted second-degree murder with a firearm aggravated assault with a firearm and shooting into an occupied vehicle stemming from a road rage incident in May, 2015 in which he fired a single bullet from his .357 Magnum into George Zimmerman's truck. Apperson's sentencing is scheduled for Oct. 17 and he faces a minimum 20-year prison sentence. Photo courtesy of Seminole County Sheriff's Office

SEINOLE COUNTY , Fla., Sept. 17 (UPI) -- A Florida man who shot at George Zimmerman was found guilty of attempted second-degree murder with a firearm Friday.

According to the Orlando Sentinel, Matthew Apperson, 37, faces a minimum of 20 years in prison. He was also convicted of aggravated assault with a firearm and shooting into an occupied vehicle in a road rage incident in May 2015. Prosecutors said he fired a single shot toward Zimmerman, who was acquitted after shooting and killing unarmed teenager Trayvon Martin in 2012.

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Apperson, a paralegal, said Zimmerman flashed a gun first, prompting him to fire the bullet into Zimmerman's truck. The bullet missed Zimmerman's face and became lodged in the truck body.

CNN reported Zimmerman testified that he was followed by Apperson, who then flashed his lights, honked his horn and pulled alongside him before shooting into his vehicle.

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Surveillance video from a nearby post office showed Apperson chasing Zimmerman in a car. Assistant State Attorney Stewart Stone argued Apperson failed to meet the standard of self defense because he did not act in a reasonable, prudent or cautious manner prior to firing.

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Stone also argued Zimmerman's windows were rolled up and too darkly tinted to see through at the time of the shooting.

According to Apperson, the two had a encountered each other in traffic once before on Sept. 9, 2014, when Apperson told Zimmerman he was wrong to kill Martin and said Zimmerman began threatening and following him after they argued from inside their vehicles.

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"George Zimmerman is no boy scout — I get that, and you get that," Stone said. "But no matter how you feel about George Zimmerman, he can still be a victim of a crime, and he was in this case."

Apperson's sentencing is set for Oct. 17, and following the trial Zimmerman's brother Robert tweeted "Justice for George!"

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