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Juror: Zimmerman 'got away with murder' but had to be acquitted

George Zimmerman listens as the verdict is announced July 13 in Sanford, Fla.
George Zimmerman listens as the verdict is announced July 13 in Sanford, Fla.Pool via EPA

A member of the jury that acquitted George Zimmerman said Thursday she thinks Zimmerman "got away with murder" but that jurors had no choice in finding him not guilty under the law.

In an interview Thursday with ABC News, the woman identified as Juror B29 during the trial discussed the deliberations that led to the acquittal of Zimmerman on second-degree murder and manslaughter charges on July 13 in the shooting death last year of Florida teenager Trayvon Martin. Zimmerman said he shot Martin in self defense.

The juror, whom the network identified as Puerto Rican, was the only minority member on the six-woman jury.

The jurors' names remain sealed, but the woman allowed ABC to show her face and identify her by the name Maddy. She is a nursing assistant and the mother of eight children.

The woman said the evidence didn't prove murder, "Even though in our hearts we felt he was guilty." 

"We had to grab our hearts and put it aside and look at the evidence," she said.

Juror B29 said she initially held out for convicting Zimmerman of second-degree murder, but after nine hours of deliberations, she came to the conclusion that wasn't enough proof under Florida law.

"I was the juror that was going to give them the hung jury. I fought to the end," she said. 

"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," she said. But "the law couldn't prove it."

The woman told ABC News that she still isn't sure she made the right call, saying, "I felt like I let a lot of people down" — especially Martin's parents.

"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," she said. "And as I carry him on my back, I'm hurting as much (as) Trayvon's Martin's mother, because there's no way that any mother should feel that pain."

In a statement late Thursday, Martin's mother, Sybrina Fulton, said:

"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. This new information challenges our nation once again to do everything we can to make sure that this never happens to another child."

Attempts by NBC News to reach Zimmerman attorney Mark O'Mara for comment were not successful. 

Only one other juror has spoken out publicly about the verdict. Juror B37 said in an interview earlier this month on CNN that only three jurors thought Zimmerman should be acquitted when deliberations began and that all of them cried when they were over.

She said Martin "played a huge role" in his own death and said "he could have walked away and gone home."

Four of the other jurors — all but the woman who spoke to ABC News on Thursday — later issued a statement saying Juror B37's remarks didn't represent their views.

George Zimmerman has sued NBC Universal for defamation. The company strongly denies the allegation.