You have reached your limit of free articles this month.

Enjoy unlimited access to myAJC.com

Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.

GREAT REASONS TO SUBSCRIBE TODAY!

  • IN-DEPTH REPORTING
  • INTERACTIVE STORYTELLING
  • NEW TOPICS & COVERAGE
  • ePAPER
X

You have read of premium articles.

Get unlimited access to all of our breaking news, in-depth coverage and bonus content- exclusively for subscribers. Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks

X

Welcome to myAJC.com

This subscriber-only site gives you exclusive access to breaking news, in-depth coverage, exclusive interactives and bonus content.

You can read free articles of your choice a month that are only available on myAJC.com.

Judge sentences George Zimmerman shooter to 20 years in prison


The man convicted of trying to kill George Zimmerman was sentenced to 20 years in prison by a judge Monday, despite arguments from his mother and wife that his trial was unfair.

>> Read more trending stories

Lisa Apperson, Matthew Apperson's wife, complained that the media painted her husband as a monster. She also accused many witnesses of lying during her husband's trial, saying it was "disturbing" to see the "amount of perjury."

Zimmerman told the court that jurors would see a different picture of Matthew Apperson, "if you were to ask his neighbors, if you were to ask the pool man." He also pointed out that only Matthew Apperson's wife and mother came to speak on his behalf.

"Only the two that could spew the lies through their teeth would appear (at the hearing)," he said.

Zimmerman is well-known for his arrest and acquittal in the 2012 shooting death of Trayvon Martin. Zimmerman claimed he shot the teen in self-defense.

He was initially charged with second-degree murder.

>> Related: Shooter was fixated on George Zimmerman, police report says

On Sept. 16, a jury found Matthew Apperson guilty on charges of attempted second-degree murder, shooting into an occupied vehicle and aggravated assault with a firearm. The charges stem from a 2015 road-rage incident involving Zimmerman.

Matthew Apperson claimed he acted in self-defense. Zimmerman said the attack was unprovoked.

"There is nothing that Mr. Apperson did in his encounter with George Zimmerman on May 11, 2015, along Lake Mary Boulevard that was reasonable, prudent or cautious," prosecutor Stewart Stone told jurors.

>> Related: Attempted murder charges filed against man accused of shooting at George Zimmerman

Matthew Apperson testified that Zimmerman's history and his notoriety after the Martin case made Matthew Apperson jumpy during an altercation with Zimmerman months before the shooting.

Zimmerman pulled up next to him as he was driving in Lake Mary and threatened to shoot, Apperson said.

"I said, 'What are you going to do? Shoot me like you did that little kid?'" Apperson testified, adding that after a short exchange, Zimmerman answered his question. "He said, 'By the way, I am going to kill you. I'm going to shoot you just like I shot Trayvon.'"

>> Related: Man accused of firing at George Zimmerman arrested

Apperson said he pulled into a gas station to call 911, and Zimmerman followed him.

"He pulled in behind me, in my parking space, blocking me in," Apperson said.


Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Nation & World

Court ruling allows convicted rapist to petition for visitation with biological daughter
Court ruling allows convicted rapist to petition for visitation with biological daughter
A controversial court ruling has been handed down in a case FOX25 has been following for years. The man who impregnated a 14-year-old girl through rape can now continue his fight for his parental rights in family court.
Tim McGraw's mom pays off layaway orders at Florida Walmart
Tim McGraw's mom pays off layaway orders at Florida Walmart
A country music superstar's mother made a difference for several families this holiday season. Tim McGraw's mother, Betty Trimble, made sure some deserving families have a merry Christmas.
Time names Donald Trump 'Person of the Year'
Time names Donald Trump 'Person of the Year'
Businessman turned politician president-elect Donald Trump has been named Time magazine's "Person of the Year" for 2016.
Kroger warns shoppers of fake '$60 off' coupon
Kroger warns shoppers of fake '$60 off' coupon
Excited about the "$60 off" Kroger coupon that has been making the rounds on social media? Well, don't go on a shopping spree just yet.
Hatchimals coming to Target this Sunday
Hatchimals coming to Target this Sunday
Parents, listen up: You still have a chance to snag one of the most coveted toys of the holiday season.
More Stories