When the six jury members in the George Zimmerman trial went in for deliberation, three were for acquittal, one was for second-degree murder and two were for the manslaughter charge, one of those jury members told CNN’s Anderson Cooper on Monday.
As they reviewed the evidence, the jurors came to feel that Zimmerman truly feared for his life when he pulled the trigger, she said.
The juror’s identity was not revealed but was identified by her juror number, “B-37,” on Anderson Cooper 360°.
She said that she wanted to remain “cautious” and didn’t want her face shown. Earlier Monday, literary agent Sharlene Martin said she had signed one of the Zimmerman jurors to write a book about her experience on the panel, and also identified that juror as B-37, which was the juror’s official court designation during the trial.
That juror said Zimmerman was “a man whose heart was in the right place,” but he went too far and did not use good judgment.
Zimmerman, 29, a neighborhood watch volunteer in a gated townhouse community, shot and killed Trayvon Martin, 17, on Feb. 26, 2012.
Zimmerman, who is Hispanic, claimed he shot the unarmed African-American teenager in self-defense.
That juror said she didn’t think the shooting was racially motivated and that Zimmerman would have reacted the same way to someone of any race.
While her identity wasn’t revealed, there are some known facts about juror B-37. She is a middle-aged white woman and the daughter of an Air Force captain. She has been married to a space attorney for 20 years and has has two adult children.
She and the other five members deliberated for more than 15 hours before finding Zimmerman not guilty of second-degree murder and manslaughter Saturday.
She added that Zimmerman did have the right to carry his pistol, but he should have stayed in his car that night and not have gotten out to follow Trayvon.
She did think that Zimmerman did have the right to own a pistol.
“I think he has every right to carry a gun,” she said. “I think it’s everyone’s right to carry a gun” as long as they use it responsibly.
The juror said that she thinks it was Trayvon threw the first punch in the subsequent physical altercation that night and that she believed Zimmerman’s account of what happened that night.
“I think George was pretty consistent and told the truth basically,” she said.
She said that both sets of parents likely believe that it was their child calling for help on the 911 tape. “They are your kids you want to believe they are innocent,” she said.
As for the juror herself, she was “sure” that it was Zimmerman calling for help.
She said that the laws they had to consider were “very confusing” so they took their time to think through it all carefully. Then, after they gave the bailiff their decision, they cried.
“It was just hard thinking that someone had lost their life and nothing else could be done about it,” she said. “It’s a tragedy that this happened.”
Contributing: Yamiche Alcindor