The Daily Mail has dug up some pure gold on Matthew Apperson, the man who two days ago apparently tried to shoot George Zimmerman through the head with a .357 Magnum revolver. (Apperson appears with his wife, Liza, in the photo above.)

(As an aside, thank you, again, UK news media, for doing the reporting that US news media can’t be bothered to do.)

I’ve previously reported on Apperson’s multiple arrests, and occasional convictions, for crimes such as DUI and drug possession, but most of those had taken place about 15 years ago.  (See: Zimmerman Shooter Claims Self-Defense.)

What, one wonders, has Apperson been up to more recently?  It turns out, the Daily Mail reports, that “Apperson is also well known to police in several Florida police districts.”

Just 24 hours before attempting to put a round through Zimmerman’s noggin’, Apperson was the subject of a police response triggered by one of his neighbors, Sharee Rivera.  She reported Apperson acting strangely.  He had been complaining of her feeding the local squirrel population, and on this day she found a dead squirrel in her yard, apparently shot by a BB gun.  As noted in the police report:

Sharee has always had trouble with her neighbor Matt Apperson. She advised that he says and does strange things and has yelled at her in the past. On this date she observed a dead squirrel in backyard that had an apparent BB gun wound to its neck. She advised that Matt hates the fact that she often feeds the squirrels and birds in the rear of the building and she believes that this is a sign.

Other neighbors report Apperson as behaving in an ‘irrational and unstable’ manner:

He was very odd and in the days before all this happened, not stable. When I saw what happened [the shooting at Zimmerman] I was not surprised. . . . He always told us that he carried guns around with him. Where we live is a very safe area, so it did seem so strange.

In 2013, police responded to Apperson’s home after they were contacted by a telephone canvasser who told them that Apperson was threatening to shoot someone.  As the canvasser recounted the events to police, Apperson stated:

I have a .357 Magnum and I am going to kill a trespasser.

A year prior, in 2012, Apperson was involved in an incident at a local pharmacy that led to yet another police response.

When told his narcotic medication was out of stock and not immediately available, he reacted in a way that is surely familiar to any of us who have had prior interactions with addicts–angry and confrontational. The resulting police report noted that:

Matthew [Apperson] was extremely close to Jason and very angry. Jason stated he thought Matthew was going to continue to cause a disturbance but he just made a few statements such as ‘You’re going to be having a very bad new year.’

But wait, there’s more.

Several of Apperson’s neighbors have been compelled to call the police over Apperson’s lack of control over his dog, a pit bull.  Apparently Apperson allows the dog off its leash, after which it indulges in the pleasant pastime of chasing human beings.

I expect the further anybody bothers to lift up this rock, the more bugs will come crawling out from underneath.

I would suggest that to a prosecutor considering charges against Zimmerman, Matthew Apperson is not exactly the witness around which one must build a case based almost entirely on his credibility.

Or, as George Zimmerman’s brother Robert tweeted out earlier today:

Robert Zimmerman Jr. tweet

Surely we all remember Don West cross-examining Jeantel. I expect Apperson would be in for a considerably more direct, and even more devastating, cross.

That leaves us with the only remaining question–how long before Apperson is charged with attempted murder (or some lesser included offense) along with “10-20-Life”?   Anybody set up a pool yet?

–-Andrew, @LawSelfDefense


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Andrew F. Branca is an MA lawyer and the author of the seminal book “The Law of Self Defense, 2nd Edition,” available at the Law of Self Defense blog (autographed copies available) and Amazon.com (paperback and Kindle). He also holds Law of Self Defense Seminars around the country, and provides free online self-defense law video lectures at the Law of Self Defense Institute and podcasts through iTunes, Stitcher, and elsewhere.