George Zimmerman case: Trayvon Martin's mother seeking money from Florida fund for crime victims

ORLANDO, Fla. - Trayvon Martin's mother has asked for an undisclosed amount of money from a state fund set up to help crime victims with things like funeral expenses and counseling, according to documents obtained by The Associated Press.

The documents, obtained through a public records request, show Sybrina Fulton applied for the compensation benefits after her son was fatally shot last February by neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman in a gated community in Sanford, Fla. It was not immediately clear how Martin's family would use the money.

The state Attorney General's Office, which administers the Crimes Compensation Trust Fund, refused to disclose the sum sought by Fulton and her former husband, Tracy Martin. Payouts can reach $30,000.

Zimmerman, 28, has pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder and says he shot the 17-year-old in self-defense under Florida's "stand your ground" law. The law allows people to use deadly force, rather than retreat, if they believe their lives are in danger. He is free on $1 million bond as he awaits trial. Zimmerman wasn't charged until 44 days after Martin's death, and in those weeks protesters accused the Sanford police department of being racist and botching the investigation.

In a March 29 letter, a claims analyst with the Attorney General's Office notified Fulton that she had been deemed eligible for the compensation benefits. However, no check had been issued to Martin's parents as of early August.

Notes taken by a victims' advocate who works for the State Attorney's Office in Sanford show that Tracy Martin had a life insurance policy through his employer that paid for most of the expenses incurred from Trayvon Martin's death. Despite that, Tracy Martin still had out-of-pocket expenses of $1,300, according to the notes in the records obtained by the AP.

The Attorney General's Office paid out more than $25 million in the 2010-11 fiscal year to more than 16,000 compensation claims.

Money for the fund comes from court fees assessed on offenders, as well as other sources. Applicants can be reimbursed for lost wages, funeral expenses, medical expenses and mental health counseling.

Fulton's friend filed the initial application on her behalf as a favor, but Fulton hasn't had time to fill out the paperwork needed to process the claim, said Ben Crump, an attorney for Martin's parents. She didn't want to disclose how much she was applying for and what expenses the money would cover, Crump said.

"She has a big stack of papers at her house," Crump said. "I'm going to encourage her to fill it out."

A hearing on the scheduling of Zimmerman's trial is set for later this week.

Print this article Back to Top

Comments

Related Stories

George Zimmerman will not face domestic violence charges, prosecutor says George Zimmerman will not face domestic violence charges, prosecutor says

Prosecutors say they will not file domestic violence charges against George Zimmerman after his girlfriend said in a sworn statement she did not want to pursue the case.

George Zimmerman released from jail after court hearing George Zimmerman released from jail after court hearing

George Zimmerman has been released from jail hours after his first court appearance on domestic violence-related charges.

George Zimmerman George Zimmerman's estranged wife Shellie won't press charges despite 911 call

The 911 call seemed frantic: George Zimmerman's sobbing estranged wife said he was threatening her and her father with a gun and she feared for her life. Please come.

George Zimmerman caught speeding again, given a $256 ticket George Zimmerman caught speeding again, given a $256 ticket

Former neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman apparently has a lead foot.

Florida Juror B29 to ABC News: George Zimmerman got away with murder in death of Trayvon Martin Florida Juror B29 to ABC News: George Zimmerman got away with murder in death of Trayvon Martin

Another juror comes out from the shadows in the aftermath of the George Zimmerman verdict, sitting down with ABC News' Robin Roberts.

Ohio gun group raises $12K for George Zimmerman Ohio gun group raises $12K for George Zimmerman

An Ohio firearms group has raised more than $12,000 to buy guns or a security system for George Zimmerman.

Officials: George Zimmerman helped 4 out of wrecked SUV Officials: George Zimmerman helped 4 out of wrecked SUV

Officials say George Zimmerman helped rescue four people from an overturned vehicle last week, just days after he was cleared of all charges in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin.

Four George Zimmerman jurors release statement about trial Four George Zimmerman jurors release statement about trial

Four of the jurors at the George Zimmerman trial distanced themselves late Tuesday from statements that another juror made in a televised interview.

George Zimmerman verdict protesters raid Los Angeles store, stop freeway George Zimmerman verdict protesters raid Los Angeles store, stop freeway

Protesters ran through Los Angeles streets Monday night, breaking windows, attacking people on sidewalks and at one point raiding a Wal-Mart store in  demonstrations over George Zimmerman's Florida acquittal in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin.

Juror: George Zimmerman had right to defend himself Juror: George Zimmerman had right to defend himself

A juror in the George Zimmerman trial said Monday that the actions of the neighborhood watch volunteer and Trayvon Martin both led to the teenager's fatal shooting last year, but that Zimmerman didn't actually break the law.