(NEW YORK) — Trayvon Martin’s mother, Sybrina Fulton, said it was “devastating” to hear a juror tell ABC News in an exclusive interview that the jury in the George Zimmerman case thought the former neighborhood watchman was guilty and “got away with murder.”
“It is devastating for my family to hear the comments from juror B29, comments which we already knew in our hearts to be true,” Fulton said in a statement released Thursday through The Trayvon Martin Foundation. “That George Zimmerman literally got away with murder. This new information challenges our nation once again to do everything we can to make sure that this never happens to another child.”
“That’s why Tracy [Martin] and I have launched The Trayvon Martin Foundation to try and take something very painful and negative and turn it into something positive as a legacy to our son,” Fulton added.
Fulton’s comments came hours after juror B29 emerged from the shadows and told ABC’s Good Morning America anchor Robin Roberts on Thursday that she believes she owes Martin’s parents an apology because she feels “like I let them down.”
“It’s hard for me to sleep, it’s hard for me to eat because I feel I was forcefully included in Trayvon Martin’s death. And as I carry him on my back, I’m hurting as much [as] Trayvon Martin’s mother because there’s no way that any mother should feel that pain,” said juror B29, who only wanted to be identified as Maddy.
Zimmerman was acquitted earlier this month of second-degree murder and manslaughter charges in the 2012 slaying of the unarmed teen. The case spawned heated national debates about racial profiling and the so-called Stand Your Ground self-defense laws in Florida and other states.
Maddy, a nursing assistant and mother of eight children, was the only minority member of the all-female panel. Maddy said she favored convicting Zimmerman of second-degree murder when deliberations began.
“I was the juror that was going to give them the hung jury. I fought to the end,” she said.
Her feelings were eventually swayed by the second day of deliberations after she realized there wasn’t enough proof to convict Zimmerman of murder or manslaughter under Florida law.
“You can’t put the man in jail even though in our hearts we felt he was guilty,” Maddy said. “But we had to grab our hearts and put it aside and look at the evidence.”
But her feelings about Zimmerman’s actions are clear.
“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,” Maddy said. “[But] the law couldn’t prove it.”
Zimmerman concedes he shot and killed Martin in Sanford, Fla., on Feb. 26, 2012, but maintains he fired in self-defense.
“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.”
Maddy, who only recently moved to Florida from Chicago, said she has had trouble adjusting to life after the verdict, and has wrestled with whether she made the right decision.
“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 said.
Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio
Eric Bradner, CNN
Ebony Short for CNN
Kathryn Vasel, CNN