Trayvon Martin’s mother said Thursday that she believes her son’s fatal shooting by George Zimmerman was an accident and that he should apologize if he’s truly remorseful.
“I believe it was an accident, I believe that it just got out of control and he couldn’t turn the clock back,” Sybrina Fulton told the TODAY.
“I would ask him, ‘Did he know that that was a minor, that that was a teenager and that he did not have a weapon?’” she added.
Special Prosecutor Angela Corey announced Wednesday at a news conference in Jacksonville, Fla., that Zimmerman would be charged with second-degree murder, which carries a maximum sentence of life in prison.
“We did not come to this decision lightly,” said Corey, who was appointed by Florida Gov. Rick Scott to re-examine the case after public outcry over the initial decision not to arrest Zimmerman. “We do not prosecute by public pressure or by petition.”
Zimmerman, whose father is white and mother Hispanic, shot and killed the 17-year-old Martin, who was black, in the town of Sanford, Fla., on Feb. 26. The shooting sparked a nationwide debate about race, crime and the right to self-defense.
Zimmerman’s new attorney, Mark O’Mara, who took the case late Wednesday after Zimmerman’s previous attorneys withdrew, said his client would plead not guilty and that he would seek his release on bond. Zimmerman, 28, was scheduled for an initial hearing Thursday at 1:30 p.m. ET.
Zimmerman spent the night in jail.