George Zimmerman testifies in Matthew Apperson hearing

Apperson to stand trial for attempted 2nd-degree murder

George Zimmerman.
George Zimmerman.

A Florida man accused of shooting at George Zimmerman in May will stand trial for attempted second-degree murder, a judge ruled Tuesday.

Judge Debra S. Nelson ruled there was probable cause that Matthew Apperson should be tried on three charges. In addition to the attempted murder charge, he also faces one count of aggravated assault with a firearm and one count of shooting into an occupied vehicle.

Zimmerman testified for more than an hour, describing several incidents with Apperson, including one on May 11 where a bullet went through Zimmerman's passenger window and narrowly missed him, according to a police report.

Apperson told police that Zimmerman threatened to kill him and pointed a gun at him first as they drove down a road in Lake Mary, Florida. Apperson's attorney, Michael LaFay, has called it a case of self-defense.

Zimmerman denied in court on Tuesday that he pointed a gun at Apperson but said he had two firearms in his truck that day.

He said he was driving down the street when Apperson approached from behind in his car. Apperson was flashing his lights and honking his horn, Zimmerman said. He moved over but the Apperson got in behind him, Zimmerman said.

So Zimmerman made a U-turn and Apperson followed him, then sped up and moved along his passenger side.

He testified that Apperson yelled at him, "Do you remember me, you fat mother (expletive)?"

Zimmerman said he said something to Apperson then looked over and he saw a gun pointed at him

"As soon as I looked over I saw the barrel of the gun, I saw Mr. Apperson, I heard the shot," he said. "It was within seconds at the most."

Flying glass hit Zimmerman, who was not hit by the bullet.

Zimmerman said the two also had a road rage incident in September when Apperson drove up next to him and pointed to his truck. Zimmerman was aware of a rear tire that was leaking air.

"Thank you, I already know," Zimmerman testified that he replied.

"'You already know you're wrong for killing that little black boy?' " Apperson said, according to Zimmerman. He eventually lost Apperson after the two stopped at a gas station and Zimmerman drove off, he said.

Zimmerman became a public figure in 2012 when he fatally shot teenager Trayvon Martin. He was acquitted of charges in 2013.

Apperson's next court date is October 21.