|Widow of Man Shot by Neighbor: 'Heart Breaks' for Trayvon Martin's Family|
|By ANDREW PAPARELLA (@AndrewPaparella)||Jul 11, 2013, 4:41 PM|
Like so many across America, Mindy Danaher has been watching the George Zimmerman trial closely.
But Mindy is watching because she lived through the horror of a case with one man dead from being shot by another, who claimed he pulled the trigger in self-defense.
The dead man was her husband, Kelly Danaher.
In an interview with "20/20" anchor David Muir, Mindy Danaher said that when she saw Trayvon Martin's family in the courtroom on TV, she could relate to them on a simple human level.
"Well, that's still their child," she said. "They're still going to miss having him there at Christmas and birthday parties. Going to the cemetery, you know? Trying to keep his memory alive to the other kids and making sure that they don't forget. ... That very much breaks my heart for them. And I know exactly what they went through."
Two years before George Zimmerman shot Trayvon Martin, Mindy and Kelly Danaher lived in Huffman, Texas, with their daughter, Peri, then 3 years old.
On a Saturday in May 2010, they had a party to celebrate Mindy's and Peri's birthdays. The party continued into the night, with drinking and karaoke.
A neighbor, Raul Rodriguez, angered by the noise, went to the Danahers' with a video camera and his handgun. After a confrontation with Kelly Danaher and his friends, Rodriguez shot two of the friends, who survived, and Danaher, who didn't.
Rodriguez was arrested and, four months after Zimmerman shot Martin, tried for murder. He said he fired his gun in justifiable self-defense and cited his video, which records him repeatedly saying, "I am in fear for my life," as evidence.
Mindy Danaher denied Rodriguez was in danger.
"No, his life was not in danger. I think that he thought that he was above the law, just a little bit smarter than everybody else. ... I think he was waiting for the opportunity to do that."
The jury found Rodriguez guilty of murder.
Mindy Danaher said she does her best to keep her husband's memory alive, especially for Peri, now 6.
She said Peri recently lost her first tooth, and her wish was for "unicorns and Daddy."
"I might even be able to pull off the unicorns," she said, laughing. "But the Daddy one -- oh, it just kills me."
With another court -- and the country -- re-examining the boundaries of when violence is justified by self-defense, Danaher knows better than anyone how those boundaries blur, and life can turn, in a few fateful moments.
"Yeah, just a few seconds," she said. "Being at the wrong place at the wrong time, I guess."