Prosecutor to HLN: Zimmerman a 'murderer'
By Graham Winch HLNTV.com | 7/15/2013, 11:37 a.m.
(CNN) -- How would Florida State Attorney Angela Corey describe George Zimmerman in one word?
That's what an emotional Corey told HLN's Vinnie Politan when he sat down with her and prosecutor Bernie de la Rionda in Jacksonville on Monday to discuss the obstacles they faced prosecuting the former neighborhood watch captain.
"We were left with inconsistent witnesses in terms of what actually happened and (Zimmerman's) story, and what we were trying to prove is that his story was false," de la Rionda said.
The lack of reliable eyewitness reports and lack of physical evidence made it impossible for the prosecutors to tell the jurors exactly what happened during the fight between Zimmerman and Trayvon Martin.
"Our belief as to what happened: He chased down Trayvon Martin, he wanted to make sure Trayvon Martin did not get away," de la Rionda said. "Now at what point he pulled out the gun? We could speculate as to what happened. My theory is that he pulled it out early. He was going to make sure he didn't get away. He wanted to be a cop."
"We never said Trayvon didn't do something to George Zimmerman. What we said is you can't take a concealed weapon and encourage or incite a fistfight -- which is what he did by stalking a teenager who didn't know who he was -- and then whip your gun out and shoot," Corey said.
Politan's interview with the Zimmerman prosecutors touches on a wide variety of issues, including whether there will be federal charges brought against Zimmerman, why Martin's parents were not in the courtroom for the verdict, and the firing former information technology director Ben Kruidbos. The interview will air Monday night at 10 ET on a special edition of "HLN After Dark."
On Saturday night, Zimmerman was acquitted of all charges related to Martin's death, giving some closure to a case that began on February 26, 2012, when Zimmerman called 911 to report "a suspicious" person in his Sanford, Florida, neighborhood, the Retreat at Twin Lakes. He was told by a dispatcher not to get out of his vehicle or approach the person, but he did anyway.
Moments later, neighbors reported hearing gunfire. Zimmerman, who was bleeding from the nose and back of the head, told police that he and Martin fought and that he shot the 17-year-old in self-defense.
Protests were held around the country when it appeared that Zimmerman wasn't going to be arrested for Martin's death. On April 11, 2012, Zimmerman was charged with second-degree murder for fatally shooting the unarmed teen.