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Older brother: Trayvon Martin was a happy teen, not violent

By the CNN Wire Staff
updated 11:07 PM EDT, Fri April 13, 2012
  • Trayvon Martin was a happy teenager, older brother says
  • He tells "AC360" his brother wasn't violent, confrontational
  • They went horseback riding a week before Trayvon died
  • George Zimmerman claims he acted in self-defense

(CNN) -- Trayvon Martin should be remembered as a happy, smiling teenager, says his soft-spoken older brother.

Martin, 17, was an honors student with his own college dreams, according to Jahvaris Fulton.

But Martin's life ended on February 26 in Sanford, Florida, during an encounter with neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman.

"He probably was going to be someone," Fulton, in an interview aired Friday night on CNN's "AC360," said of Martin.

Fulton humorously recalled Martin's first time riding on a horse. "His horse had some problems. It wanted to be a bully to everybody else's horse. He (Martin) handled it. He was the first one to learn how to control him."

Martin was shot and killed eight days after that trip.

Fulton recalled speaking with his mother, Sybrina Fulton, after learning of Martin's death.

Attorney: Zimmerman 'stressed' about charges

"I just paused because I didn't believe it," Fulton told HLN legal analyst Sunny Hostin. "I didn't understand it, either."

The older brother said he was confused by the circumstances.

"Everything I heard was from Zimmerman's perspective," Fulton said. "It didn't sound like my brother at all. (That) my brother attacked him and did all this stuff. It doesn't sound like him at all. He wasn't confrontational or violent."

Zimmerman was charged Wednesday with second-degree murder in Martin's death.

Zimmerman, who is Hispanic, has said he killed Martin, an unarmed black teenager, in self-defense after the teen punched him and slammed his head on a sidewalk.

But Fulton said his reading of the evidence and 911 tapes indicated Martin "tried to get away from the situation. He wasn't violent. For him to actually jump on someone he doesn't even know, to me that's not him. He's smarter than that."

Defense attorney Mark O'Mara has asked that there be no rush to judgment.

"Nobody, after all, wanted Trayvon Martin to be prejudged as he was walking down that street," he said Thursday. "I ask you not to prejudge George Zimmerman, and please do not prejudge the criminal justice system. It's going to work. We just need to let it work."

Fulton said he wants to see changes in Florida's "stand your ground" laws, which allow people to use deadly force if they feel a reasonable threat of death or serious injury.

"Someone shouldn't be able to murder someone and walk away," said Fulton.

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