US & Canada

Juror: George Zimmerman 'got away with murder'

Media playback is unsupported on your device
Media captionMaddy told ABC's Good Morning America that she believed George Zimmerman got away with murder

A juror in the trial of a Florida neighbourhood watchman who killed an unarmed black teenager has come forward to say he "got away with murder".

But the 36-year-old, named as Maddy in an ABC News interview, said they could not find him guilty based on the law.

The only non-white member of the six-woman jury, she suggested the trial had been little more than a sham.

George Zimmerman was cleared after shooting dead unarmed black teenager Trayvon Martin in February 2012.

There were nationwide protests following his acquittal of murder and manslaughter charges earlier this month. He claimed self-defence.

'Publicity stunt'

Maddy, a mother of eight who had recently moved from Illinois to Florida, said she feels she owes an apology to the dead 17-year-old's parents.

"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 told ABC News' Good Morning America programme.

But she said that based on instructions from the judge, she could not convict Mr Zimmerman under Florida law.

"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."

Known as Juror B29, she said she initially voted to convict the 29-year-old neighbourhood watchman of second-degree murder, but changed her mind after nine hours of discussing evidence on the second day of deliberations.

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

Maddy, who is of Puerto Rican background, said the trial was "a publicity stunt", because she believes Florida laws provided no opportunity to convict. But she said Mr Zimmerman will still to be judged.

"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."

Earlier this month, another juror - known only as B37 - told broadcaster CNN that she believed Mr Zimmerman had good intentions, but events "just went terribly wrong".

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites