|Zimmerman's Attorney Says Juror B29 Was a 'Model Juror'|
|By ALYSSA NEWCOMB (@alyssanewcomb)||Jul 26, 2013, 12:48 AM|
Trayvon Martin's mother said a juror's comment that George Zimmerman "got away with murder" was "devastating" to hear, but Zimmerman's lawyer said today that the woman's comments showed her to be a "model juror."
Both sides were reacting to what juror B29, who only gave her first name of Maddy, told ABC News' Robin Roberts in an exclusive interview Thursday. She told Roberts that she believed Zimmerman was guilty, but that the jury couldn't convict him under the law.
"It is devastating for my family to hear the comments from juror B29, comments which we already knew in our hearts to be true, that George Zimmerman literally got away with murder," Sybrina Fulton, Martin's mother, said in a statement released through The Trayvon Martin Foundation. "This new information challenges our nation once again to do everything we can to make sure that this never happens to another child."
"That's why Tracy [Martin] and I have launched The Trayvon Martin Foundation to try and take something very painful and negative and turn it into something positive as a legacy to our son," Fulton added.
At the National Urban League's annual conference today in Philadelphia, Fulton asked people to "wrap your mind around what has happened."
"No prom for Trayvon. No high school graduation for Trayvon. No college for Trayvon. No grandkids coming from Trayvon," she said. "All because of a law, a law that has prevented the person who shot and killed my son to be held accountable and to pay for this awful crime."
Zimmerman's lawyer, Mark O'Mara, however, cited the juror's comments as the words of a "model juror."
"Based on her comments, Juror B-29 accepted a tremendous burden, set her feelings aside, and cast a verdict based the evidence presented in court and on the law she was provided," O'Mara wrote on his blog that was headlined "A Model Juror."
"Any juror that follows Juror B-29's process will deliver a fair and just verdict," he said.
The latest furor over Martin's 2012 killing by Zimmerman came a day after Maddy told ABC News that she believes she owes Martin's parents an apology because she feels "like I let them down."
"It's hard for me to sleep, it's hard for me to eat because I feel I was forcefully included in Trayvon Martin's death. And as I carry him on my back, I'm hurting as much [as] Trayvon Martin's mother because there's no way that any mother should feel that pain," said Maddy.
Zimmerman was acquitted earlier this month of second-degree murder and manslaughter charges in the slaying of the unarmed teen. The case spawned heated national debates about racial profiling and the so-called Stand Your Ground self-defense laws in Florida and other states.
Catch Up on all the Details From the George Zimmerman Murder Trial.
Maddy, a nursing assistant and mother of eight children, was the only minority member of the all-female panel. Maddy said she favored convicting Zimmerman of second-degree murder when deliberations began.
"I was the juror that was going to give them the hung jury. I fought to the end," she said.
Her feelings were eventually swayed during the second day of deliberations after she realized there wasn't enough proof to convict Zimmerman of murder or manslaughter under Florida law.
See Reaction to the George Zimmerman Verdict
"You can't put the man in jail even though in our hearts we felt he was guilty," Maddy said. "But we had to grab our hearts and put it aside and look at the evidence."
But her feelings about Zimmerman's actions are clear.
"George Zimmerman got away with murder, but you can't get away from God. And at the end of the day, he's going to have a lot of questions and answers he has to deal with," Maddy said. "[But] the law couldn't prove it."
Zimmerman concedes he shot and killed Martin in Sanford Feb. 26, 2012, but maintains he fired in self-defense.
"That's where I felt confused, where if a person kills someone, then you get charged for it," Maddy said. "But as the law was read to me, if you have no proof that he killed him intentionally, you can't say he's guilty."
Maddy, who only recently moved to Florida from Chicago, said she has had trouble adjusting to life after the verdict, and has wrestled with whether she made the right decision.
"I felt like I let a lot of people down, and I'm thinking to myself, 'Did I go the right way? Did I go the wrong way?'" she said.
ABC News' Anthony Castellano contributed to this report.