June 07, 2013 10:37am PT by THR Staff
Trayvon Martin's Mother Appears on 'The View' as Trial Looms (Video)
The mother of Trayvon Martin appeared on ABC's The View on Friday, several days before George Zimmerman stands trial for killing the Florida teenager in February 2012.
"I just couldn't believe that it had happened to him," said Sybrina Fulton, sitting alongside the attorney for Martin's family, Benjamin Crump. It's "the worst phone call any mother -- not just me -- any mother could receive, to tell you that your 17-year-old son had been shot and killed. And we had no answers."
Martin was unarmed when Zimmerman, a neighborhood watch volunteer in Sanford, Fla., shot the boy once in the chest. National outrage ensued, with civil rights activists labeling it a hate crime, while Zimmerman, 28, said he was acting in self-defense.
Zimmerman's trial for second-degree murder begins Monday, starting with jury selection. On Friday, a hearing was taking place over how to present to the jury audio recordings of 911 calls made by neighbors. A voice can be heard shouting for help, but it's not clear whether it belongs to Martin or Zimmerman.
Attorneys for Zimmerman recently filed a request for the court to consider text messages sent by a "hostile" Martin to an unnamed recipient during an argument on the day of his death.
"I think it was a desperate attempt to taint and influence the jury pool. ... Stuff that the judge ruled was irrelevant, inadmissible and had nothing to do with George Zimmerman's guilt or innocence," Crump said on The View.
Co-host Sherri Shepherd read aloud this statement from the defense:
"For more than a year Mr. Crump and Sybrina Fulton have campaigned against George Zimmerman and have demanded that he face a jury. Jury selection for that trial begins next week, and we hope that all involved remember that our justice system works in large part because of our faith in it. We pray that justice will be found by all in any verdict rendered by an impartial jury at the end of a fair trial."
Crump responded that Martin's parents "have always asked that everybody remain open-minded and be fair."
Last year, View creator Barbara Walters rejected Zimmerman's request for compensation for sitting down for an interview on the ABC chatfest.