Apperson told authorities he acted in self-defense after Zimmerman threatened him by pointing a gun at him first. Zimmerman countered Apperson's claim, testifying that Apperson pulled up next to his pickup and shot him but that the bullet missed and struck the passenger side window.
Zimmerman suffered minor injuries from the broken glass in the incident.
In an audio recording of a 911 call released by Lake Mary Police in 2015, an unidentified man told a dispatcher:
"A guy just said he had to pull a gun on a guy … he had to shoot at somebody." Questioned further by the dispatcher, the unidentified caller said Apperson was standing by the side of the road nearby. "He's driving an Infinity. He said it was George Zimmerman."
Janet White, Apperson's mother, pleaded with Seminole County Circuit Judge Debra S. Nelson to drop the verdict, casting the blame squarely on Zimmerman.
"We will hold our collective breaths to see what outrageous acts he (Zimmerman) performs next," White told the judge during the hearing.Apperson's wife, Lisa Apperson, also accused Zimmerman of being the instigator of the incident, claiming her husband's innocence.
His wife told the judge:
Authorities have "given George Zimmerman a golden ticket to go out and do whatever he wants to do."
Circuit Judge Debra S. Nelson handed down the state-mandated minimum: 20 years for shooting at another person with a gun.
Moments before Apperson was sentenced, his wife, Lisa, accused the judge of making unfair rulings and allowing an innocent man to go to jail.
This wasn't the first time Zimmerman and Apperson were allegedly involved in an incident together. Back in September 2014, the two men reportedly shouted at each other, with Apperson claiming Zimmerman threatened to kill him during a confrontation in their vehicles.
Apperson, who called the authorities then, decided not to press charges.
Zimmerman, the neighborhood watchman acquitted of second-degree murder after fatally shooting unarmed teenager Trayvon Martin in 2012, has had several brushes with the law since his controversial acquittal.