George Zimmerman wants to meet Trayvon Martin family
Attorney Ben Crump says Martin's parents won't meet with shooter
SANFORD, Fla. – The attorney for George Zimmerman, the neighborhood watchman who shot and killed 17-year-old Trayvon Martin, says his client wants to meet with the teen's parents.
The Martin family on Friday sat in the same courtroom as Zimmerman, who was granted a $150,000 bond, for the first time, but the Martin family attorney said they will not meet with Zimmerman.
Benjamin Crump said Martin's parents attended the hearing at the request of special prosecutor Angela Corey. Crump said the family had to brace themselves to be the same room as Zimmerman.
Zimmerman's attorney, former Local 6 legal analyst Mark O'Mara, said his 28-year-old client would like to meet with the Martin family in private.
"There's no reason not to have a conversation," O'Mara said Thursday. "It should be personal, it should be private."
Crump said Martin's parents considered Zimmerman's proposal but won't meet with him.
"The meeting is not appropriate right now," Crump said. "We think that it's self-serving, right now, to say, 'I want to apologize the day before my bond hearing.'"
Zimmerman did, however, apologize in open court during Friday's bond hearing.
"I wanted to say I am sorry for the loss of your son. I did not know how old he was. I thought he was a little bit younger than I, and I didn't know if he was armed or not," Zimmerman said.
It would also be difficult logistically and legally to have the families meet in private.
"If we could do it safely -- my client has constitutional rights we don't want to be infringed upon," O'Mara said.
Zimmerman, a neighborhood watch leader, shot and killed Martin Feb. 26 in Sanford. Zimmerman claims the shooting was in self-defense, but state prosecutors say he profiled the teen and was the aggressor in the shooting.
Zimmerman was not immediately arrested because police said there was no evidence to refute his claim of self-defense.
Florida's "stand your ground" law has come under fire because of the case, and the lack of an immediate arrest in the shooting prompted marches, rallies and protests in Sanford and across the country.
Watch Local 6 News for more on this story.
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