George Zimmerman (38869)

George Zimmerman took the stand Tuesday afternoon in the trial of a man accused of shooting at him during a road-rage incident last year in Lake Mary.

“He said, ‘You owe me your life. The only reason I didn’t press charges on you is because I want to kill you myself,’ ” Zimmerman told jurors.

Zimmerman took the stand before lunch and his testimony is expected to take up much of the afternoon.

What you need to know

  • Matthew Apperson is charged with 2nd-degree attempted murder

  • Prosecutors: Apperson shot at George Zimmerman last year

  • Apperson’s lawyer says he shot in self-defense

  • In a trial at the Seminole County Criminal Justice Center in Sanford, Zimmerman gave a detailed account of what he said happened during the encounter with Matthew Apperson, who is accused of shooting at him, narrowly missing his head.

Prosecutors say that in May 2015, Zimmerman was driving down Lake Mary Boulevard when Apperson shot at him several times during a road-rage incident. A bullet pierced Zimmerman’s vehicle and narrowly missed his head, they say.

Prosecutors argue that Zimmerman and Apperson had bad blood from previous encounters, that Apperson taunted Zimmerman for the shooting of Trayvon Martin and that Apperson was the aggressor in this shooting.

But Apperson’s attorney said his client was acting in self-defense, because Zimmerman was pointing a gun at him.

“(It was) cocked and ready to fire, and that was the pistol that was in Mr. Zimmerman’s hand when he pointed it at Mr. Apperson,” Michael LaFay said.

Zimmerman has denied pointing a gun at Apperson but has said he had two firearms in his truck that day.

“You cannot see through that window, it’s so heavily tinted. So it is impossible, absolutely impossible for him to see George Zimmerman pointing a gun at him,” Assistant State Attorney Stewart Stone said.

Apperson is facing second-degree attempted murder charges, plus aggravated assault and shooting into an occupied vehicle. He has pleaded not guilty.

In October 2015, Apperson was found guilty of disorderly conduct for urinating on a neighbor’s front porch. That conviction, according to the State Attorney’s Office, violated his bond, which caused him to be jailed for the past few months.