Excerpts from Zimmerman’s apology, testimony
Apr 20, 2012, 8:24 PM
(AP) – In an unusual move, George Zimmerman took the witness stand Friday to apologize to the parents of Trayvon Martin for fatally shooting their 17-year-old son. Assistant prosecutor Bernardo de la Rionda took the opportunity to grill the neighborhood watch volunteer about some of the statements he made to police.
Here’s a partial transcript of Zimmerman’s testimony:
Zimmerman: I wanted to say I am very 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 am, and I did not know if he was armed or not.
De la Rionda: Sir, you are not really addressing that to the court. You are doing it here to the victim’s family, is that correct?
Zimmerman: They are here in the court yes.
De la Rionda: I understand that, but I thought you were going to address your honor, Judge (Kenneth) Lester, not _ that’s really addressed to where the family and where the media happens to be, is that correct Mr. Zimmerman?
Zimmerman: No, to the mother and father.
De la Rionda: And tell me, after you committed this crime and you spoke to the police, did you ever make that statement to the police sir, that you were sorry for what you’d done or their loss?
Zimmerman: No sir.
De la Rionda: You never stated that did you?
Zimmerman: I don’t remember what I said. I believe I did state that.
De la Rionda: You told that to the police?
Zimmerman: In one of the statements, I said I felt sorry for the family.
De la Rionda: You did?
Zimmerman: Yes sir.
De la Rionda: So that would be recorded, because all those conversations were recorded, right?
Zimmerman: Yes sir.
De la Rionda: And you’re sure you said that?
Zimmerman: I’m fairly certain. …
De la Rionda: Let me make sure the record’s clear. You stated exactly what to those detectives?
Zimmerman: I don’t remember exactly what verbatim.
De la Rionda: But you’re saying you expressed that concern for the loss of Mr. Martin or that you had shot Mr. Martin, that you, you actually felt sorry for them?
Zimmerman: I felt sorry that they lost their child, yes. …
De la Rionda: Why did you wait 50-something days to tell them, that is the parents?
Zimmerman: I don’t understand the question. I’m sorry.
De la Rionda: Why did you wait so long to tell Mr. Martin and the victim’s mother, the father and mother, why did you wait so long to tell them?
Zimmerman: I was told not to communicate with them.
De la Rionda: So even through your attorney, you didn’t ask to do it right away, your former attorneys I mean?
Zimmerman: I did ask them to express that to them. And they said that they were going to. …
De la Rionda: And isn’t it true in some of those statements when you were confronted about your inconsistencies you started saying `I don’t remember.'”
Objection from Zimmerman’s attorney. Judge allows a “little bit of leeway” on the questioning.
De la Rionda: Isn’t it true that when you were questioned, and you were questioned about the contradictions in your statements, that the police didn’t believe it, you would say I don’t remember?
Objection from Zimmerman’s attorney. …
De la Rionda: Would you agree that you changed your story as it went along?
Zimmerman: Absolutely not.
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