Matthew Apperson credit: orlandosentinel

Matthew Apperson
credit: orlandosentinel

Back in May of 2015, I wrote The Trayvon Martin Case, Update 45: George Zimmerman “Involved,”  which was the tale of an attempt on Zimmerman’s life, reported by much of the media as though Zimmerman were somehow “involved” in a shooting. He was indeed: as the victim, injured, fortunately, not by a bullet but by flying safety glass.

The attacker was a local man with mental health issues–one Matthew Apperson–well known to the police for bizarre behavior, such as urinating on the front porches of neighbors, something that always makes one popular around the ‘hood.  I’m generally not one to judge others on appearance, but you, gentle readers, may feel free.  Part of that article:

Additional facts now being reported by the Orlando Sentinel include: Police recovered two handguns from Apperson’s car, including a Glock 22 (in .40S&W, of course) and a .357 Magnum revolver with one spent case in the cylinder. The police spokeswoman indicated that Apperson had licenses for both guns, a fact which seems odd given Apperson’s prior arrests and sometimes convictions on charges ranging from drug possession to reckless driving to DUI to violation of probation. Police also recovered a handgun from Zimmerman (also a Glock model unspecified), which Zimmerman’s lawyer Don West indicates is habitually carried because of the great number of death threats made against Zimmerman.  Zimmerman is licensed to concealed carry a pistol in the State of Florida. Attorney West states that Zimmerman did not wave or shoot his gun during any portion of Monday’s encounter with Apperson. West also states that Apperson’s bullet went through Zimmerman’s closed passenger-side window, barely missed Zimmerman’s head, and was lodged in the driver’s side door frame above the window. West also claims that it was Apperson who was the aggressor: He initiated the event by following George. George was on Lake Mary Boulevard and on his way to a doctor’s appointment. Police have confirmed that Zimmerman did not fire his gun.

I concluded thus:

credit: abcnews

credit: abcnews

The police believed Zimmerman? Imagine that. They probably believed him, and charged Apperson with three significant felonies, because Apperson is a known bad actor, Zimmerman’s statements, as in the Trayvon Martin case, were supported by all other available evidence, and everything Zimmerman said, probably including having a doctor appointment in the area, panned out. Apperson’s version of events didn’t. Helpful, no doubt, was the evidence that Zimmerman didn’t fire a shot, including no holes in Apperson’s vehicle or Apperson.

As Andrew Branca noted, the charges against Apperson, and the potential sentences, are severe indeed. This is why I suggest it is highly likely his attorney will do everything he can to get a plea bargain. That is the most likely outcome in this kind of case, however, people like Apperson might demand a trial to go out in a blaze of warped glory, as Apperson no doubt sees himself as the righteous victim.

Apperson obviously did not seek a plea bargain and opted for a trial, arguing self-defense. Unlike George Zimmerman’s trial for the murder of Trayvon Martin, it didn’t work out so well for Apperson. Florida Today.com reports:   

A jury found Matthew Apperson guilty after officials say he shot at George Zimmerman in a road-rage incident in Seminole County.

The jury reached the guilty verdict on all charges, including attempted second-degree murder, shooting into an occupied vehicle and aggravated assault, after more than four hours of deliberations.

Apperson will be sentenced on Oct. 17 at 9 a.m. He faces a minimum mandatory 20-year sentence.

Closing arguments were heard earlier Friday. Zimmerman took the stand Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.

Just as it was in the Martin case, the evidence was straightforward, and entirely in Zimmerman’s favor:

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Authorities say Apperson opened fire on Zimmerman during a traffic incident last year.

Zimmerman told officers that he had been driving in Lake Mary when Apperson got behind his truck, yelled and fired a gun at his truck, leaving a bullet hole in a window.

‘A car came up behind me quickly, and honked its horn and flashed its high beams,’ Zimmerman testified on Tuesday.

Zimmerman said that the gun was pointed directly at his face and that he saw blood on his eyelashes and figured he had been hit, but he was struck by shattered glass, not a bullet.

Apperson said on the stand Thursday that he was on a quick trip to the convenience store during work to grab coffee when the incident unfolded.

‘I was in the right lane of the road. I noticed in the left lane there was a truck matching my speed and keeping up with me and it seemed odd,’ Apperson said. “I saw the driver lean over to look at me. He says, ‘Hey, don’t you know who the (expletive) I am?’ I realized at that moment. Took me a couple of seconds this is George Zimmerman.”

‘After that comment I said, ‘What are you going to do? Are you going to shoot me like you shot that little kid,’ Apperson said.

Front passenger door window of Zimmerman's vehicle.

Front passenger door window of Zimmerman’s vehicle.

Unfortunately for Apperson, Zimmerman’s Honda had very darkly tinted windows, and there was never any evidence those windows were down, an assertion bolstered by the bullet hole in the passenger’s side window glass. It’s rather hard to have a conversation with another driver through a closed, darkly tinted window.  It’s equally hard to see them.

A police report said that Apperson had a fixation on Zimmerman. Months before the shooting, Zimmerman and Apperson were involved in another road rage incident in which Apperson claims Zimmerman threatened to kill him.

Apperson’s attorney said that is why his client felt the need to defend himself during the second incident.

The media continue to leave out vital information, such as the fact that the police found Apperson’s previous claim to be unfounded, leaving no justification for a self-defense claim in the most recent case. If you haven’t already taken the link to Update 45, by all means do so. It will provide the reality of Apperson’s many contacts with the police. The Trayon Martin Case, Update 45.2: The Weird Gets Weirder, also deals with Apperson.  Florida Today.com did add this weak attempt at faux-balance:

Police crime scene technicians and officers testified on Thursday about the vehicle and tint of the windows. Zimmerman was also brought back up to the stand Thursday afternoon for a few minutes for questions directed toward the Trayvon Martin case.

Zimmerman was acquitted three years ago in the fatal shooting of Trayvon Martin, an unarmed black 17-year-old. The case sparked protests and a national debate about race relations.

As those familiar with my voluminous writings on the Trayvon Martin case (the SMM Trayvon Martin archive is available here) know, the media just can’t let go of their narrative, despite the indisputable fact the prosecution in that case actually proved George Zimmerman acted in self-defense and was correctly acquitted of all charges. Trayvon Martin will forever be an “unarmed black 17-year-old,” and the case will always be all about race, even though Martin was a large, strong, thug wannabe and burglar under the influence of pot, who, in an unprovoked attack, tried to kill Zimmerman. Race played no role in the incident.

And the never-ending story of George Zimmerman continues as, once more, he emerges from the Twilight Zone, but not unscathed.  Never unscathed.

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