Following a second-degree murder charge filed against George Zimmerman on Wednesday for the death of Trayvon Martin, the 17-year-old’s parents, Tracy Martin and Sybrina Fulton, appeared on morning news shows including NBC’s Today discussing their reactions to Zimmerman’s arrest and charge.
During the interview, Ann Curry asked, “If you were to come face-to-face with George Zimmerman, what do you want to tell him? What do you want to ask him?” Ms. Fulton replied, “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 was a minor, that that was a teenager, and that he did not have a weapon?”
Trayvon Martin’s Parents on NBC’s Today
By the time they had concluded additional interviews with Good Morning America and CBS This Morning, everyone was talking about the “accident”. Some had even begun suggesting that the Martin family had been bribed, coerced or threatened into changing their stance on the situation. However, Ms. Fulton issued a statement clarifying what she meant:
“Earlier today, I made a comment to the media that was later mischaracterized. When I referenced the word ‘accident’ today with regard to Trayvon’s death, in NO way did I mean the shooting was an accident. We believe that George Zimmerman stalked my son and murdered him in cold blood. The ‘accident’ I was referring to was the fact that George Zimmerman and my son ever crossed paths. It was an accidental encounter. If George Zimmerman hadn’t gotten out of his vehicle, this entire incident would have been avoided. My son was profiled, followed and murdered by George Zimmerman, and there was nothing accidental about that.”
On Thursday, George Zimmerman made his first court appearance. Zimmerman did not enter a plea, and no bail was set but an arraignment (where Zimmerman and his attorney, Mark O’Mara, will formally enter a plea) has been scheduled for May 29.
During the brief hearing, O’Mara asked the judge for a “complete sealing” of court records involving the case. Special prosecutor Angela Corey agreed with the request, which was granted by Seminole County Judge Mark E. Herr. However, Judge Herr made available a two-page affidavit which supports the state’s second-degree murder charge and states that Trayvon Martin “was profiled by George Zimmerman” and “Zimmerman confronted Martin and a struggle ensued.”
Speaking on behalf of his client, O’Mara suggested Zimmerman may apologize to the Martin family and told ABC News:
“He does not take the result of that altercation lightly at all. That weighed on him, I would imagine, more than the isolation, more than the last six weeks, more probably than the threat of what is to come in the system. What I want to happen is for that conversation to occur directly to the family rather than …in the media through me.”
O’Mara said he hoped to have Zimmerman out on bond before the May 29 arraignment. “I hope to have him released on bond, and by that time, hope to have a place for him to be safe,” he said.