A member of the jury in George Zimmerman’s second-degree murder trial spoke publicly for the first time Monday night, saying that only three of six jurors thought Zimmerman should be acquitted when deliberations began - and they all cried when it was over.
Two members of the all-female jury believed Zimmerman was guilty of manslaughter, while one felt he was guilty of second-degree murder, the woman said on CNN.
The jury ultimately found Zimmerman not guilty.
Juror B37, whose image was obscured during the interview with CNN’s Anderson Cooper, said she believes the neighborhood watch volunteer was well intentioned but became overzealous because of a string of break-ins in his Sanford, Fla. neighborhood.
The woman said Zimmerman “shouldn’t have gotten out of that car” during his phone call with a police dispatcher when he initially reported that Trayvon Martin was in his neighborhood.
She also said that none of the five fellow jurors believed race played a factor in the Feb. 26, 2012 shooting death of 17-year-old Martin, who was African-American.
The juror said she had “no doubt” that Zimmerman feared for his life and was acting in self-defense when he shot Martin.
The woman said Zimmerman had a right to carry a gun, and did not take issue that he may be eligible to have it returned to him.
"I think it's everybody's right to carry a gun,” she said.
Though she said she was unaware of the national attention the trial received until the trial was over, she said the verdict took an emotional toll on the jurors once it was decided.
“After we put our vote in and the bailiff had taken our vote, that’s when everybody started to cry,” she said.
“It was just hard, thinking that someone had lost their life, that nothing else could be done about it. What happened was sad, it’s a tragedy that it happened, but it happened,” she said, her voice tearing up as she spoke.
The woman has lived in the Sanford, Fla., area for 18 years and has two daughters – a 24-year-old pet groomer and a 27-year-old college student. During jury selection, she said she had been called for jury duty four times previously but never selected to sit on a case.
Martin Literary Management announced Monday that it was representing B37 and her husband, who is an attorney.
But agency head Sharlene Martin released a statement late Monday saying she was no longer representing the juror and that the juror had dropped the book idea.
George Zimmerman has sued NBC Universal for defamation. The company strongly denies the allegation. The Associated Press contributed to this report.
First published July 16 2013, 6:05 AM