Florida Man Sentenced To 20 Years In Prison For Shooting At George Zimmerman

By Angela Wyatt Braden

Matthew Apperson has received a twenty-year prison sentence for firing a gun at George Zimmerman during a 2015 road rage incident that left Zimmerman uninjured.  

In 2012, George Zimmerman forever etched himself in American history when he fatally shot Trayvon Martin, an unarmed 17-year-old, who was walking home from buying snacks at a convenience store.  After weeks of public outrage, a special prosecutor in Florida was assigned the case and Zimmerman was charged with murder.  However, eighteen months after Martin’s shooting death, a jury that consisted of twelve of Zimmerman’s piers fully acquitted him of all charges.

Since the July 2013 acquittal, Zimmerman has been at the center of a number of controversies that has kept him at the forefront of the American news machine.  The latest news on Zimmerman involves yet another act of gun violence.  But this time, Zimmerman was on the other end of the discharged weapon.  And unlike Trayvon Martin, Zimmerman was able to walk away from the incident with his life.    

In 2015, Zimmerman was involved in a road rage incident with Matthew Apperson, who testified that he fired his gun at Zimmerman in self defense.  According to Apperson, Zimmerman brandished a gun at him first, causing him to believe that Zimmerman was going to discharge the weapon at any moment.  Apperson said that Zimmerman’s actions are what prompted him to pull out his gun and fire at Zimmerman.  Although the bullet did not hit Zimmerman, the shattered window glass is evidence of the incident.

The district attorney that was assigned the case didn’t buy the self defense claim that Apperson offered for his reason for shooting at Zimmerman.  So, Apperson was charged and convicted of attempted murder in September 2016.  

On Monday, the judge sentenced Apperson the mandatory minimum for the crime, which is twenty years in prison.  Critics of Zimmerman are in awe by this strange twist of irony.  Zimmerman kills someone and claims “self defense” and gets off.  Another man shoots at Zimmerman in “self defense,” but is sentenced to twenty years in prison.  

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