In an incredibly screwed-up twist of fate, the man accused of shooting at George Zimmerman during a May, 2015 road rage incident has been sentenced to 20 years behind bars.
Back in September, Matthew Apperson, 37, was convicted of attempted second-degree murder, according to CNN.
Along with his 20-year sentence, he has been given a 15-year concurrent sentence for aggravated assault related to the same altercation with Zimmerman.
According to the New York Daily News, 20 years is Florida’s mandatory minimum sentence for shooting at another person with a firearm.
For those who have spent the last several years forgetting Zimmerman’s existence, he is the overzealous, former neighborhood watchman who murdered 17-year-old Trayvon Martinin 2012 and got away with it thanks, in part, to the state’s bogus “Stand Your Ground” law.
Ironically, Zimmerman’s encounter with Apperson mirrored his confrontation with Martin in that Zimmerman claimed Apperson followed him in a vehicle while flashing his lights and honking his horn.
It is well-documented that Zimmerman trailed Martin in his vehicle before confronting and ultimately killing the teen.
Apperson and Zimmerman each gave different accounts of what led up to the shooting in court — with Zimmerman insisting the shooting was unprovoked and Apperson claiming he acted in self-defense — but, the bottom line is that, Apperson shot at Zimmerman and missed.
Now, not only is Zimmerman still alive and well, but Apperson’s life has been forever changed for the worst. The outcome of this case is ironic, to say the least.
Zimmerman fatally shot a minor whom he followed and engaged for no apparent reason and yet he has been walking around as a free man, continuing to get away with a series of crimes and immoral antics.
He has bragged about killing Martin in tactless tweets and auctioned off the gun he used in the cold-blooded murder, along with other ridiculous stunts that have made national headlines.
Meanwhile, Apperson — who killed no one — will be rotting in prison for decades.
While gun violence should not be condoned, Apperson’s sentencing is a far cry from justice. Criminal justice reform needs to happen nationwide, but Florida’s handling of all things related to Zimmerman have been absolutely infuriating.
Since being acquitted in the shooting of Martin, Zimmerman has been arrested for domestic violence, criminal mischief, and aggravated assault with a firearm, but he hasn’t spent any significant time behind bars. He continues on a lucky streak that makes him appear practically invincible.
Zimmerman is a prime example of why criminal justice reform is critical. He is a perpetual menace who continues to be spared by the law while leaving lives ruined in his wake.
As Apperson’s wife, Lisa, aptly put it, authorities have given Zimmerman, “a golden ticket to go out and do whatever he wants to do.”
Apperson plans to file an appeal, according to the New York Daily News — but, in the meantime, Zimmerman will likely continue cashing in on his "golden ticket."
Banner and thumbnail credit: Reuters, Gary W. Green