The man accused of attempting to kill George Zimmerman was sentenced to 20 years in prison on Monday. Although it was not immediately clear how Zimmerman, who was also accused of the second-degree murder of Trayvon Martin, felt about the verdict, he did have a few choice words for Matthew Apperson during the trial. Circuit Judge Debra S. Nelson ruled that Apperson serves the state-mandated minimum 20-year sentence for shooting at Zimmerman, the Orlando Sentinel reported.
"The crux here is Mr. Apperson's blatant disregard for my life, any life,” Zimmerman told the court. During a confrontation in May 2015, Apperson shot at Zimmerman and testified that it was in self-defense, however, Zimmerman countered by saying that the attack was unprovoked and was not the first encounter between the men, Reuters reported. Zimmerman insisted that Apperson was glad that he believed he killed him and "joyfully bragged" about the attack.
In September 2014, the men had their first encounter which involved them shouting at one another from their vehicles. Both men accused the other of starting the confrontation. Last month, Apperson was convicted by a Seminole County jury of attempted murder in the second-degree, aggravated assault and shooting into an occupied vehicle. Apperson has been incarcerated since July 2015, he was initially out on bond but violated pretrial terms by urinating in his neighbor’s yard.
Zimmerman came to notoriety in 2012 after shooting Martin an unarmed teenager in Sanford, Florida. The case garnered national attention and sparked the beginning of the Black Lives Matter Movement. After being acquitted of second-degree murder charges in 2013, he auctioned off the gun that was used to kill the teen in 2016.
He told the media that he sold the gun for $250,000 to an anonymous bidder. He vowed to use money from the sale to help support the families of officers whose lives have been violently affected by the Black Lives Matter Movement. In 2013, Zimmerman’s girlfriend accused him of threatening her with a gun and locking her out of the house.