OTR Interviews

Family friend: George Zimmerman has his life, Trayvon Martin will never get to have his

Former coach of slain teen on how his family has been coping since George Zimmerman's acquittal


This is a rush transcript from "On the Record," April 18, 2013. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, FOX NEWS HOST: The heartbroken parents of Trayvon Martin saying they were shocked by the not guilty verdict, and today Sybrina Fulton and Tracy Martin talking about the jury's decision and their son.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We've now heard from one of the jurors, only one so far, who said that Trayvon played a role in his death. She said that he could have walked away and gone home. What's your response to that?

SYBRINA FULTON, TRAYVON MARTIN'S MOTHER: My response to that is that I think people are forgetting that Trayvon was a teenager. So he probably thought as a teenager. I really do believe he was afraid because he did call George Zimmerman creepy. So he was afraid.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Is there something you wish those jurors knew that they didn't know?

TRACY MARTIN, TRAYVON MARTIN'S FATHER: I wish they really knew Trayvon for who he was and knew that he was a kid. They really didn't get a chance to -- they didn't know him as a human being. So I just wish that they had an opportunity to really know who Trayvon was and to put that in content (ph) with what their decision was.


VAN SUSTEREN: Jerome Horton knew Trayvon Martin very well. He used to be his football coach and remains friends with the family. Jerome joins us. Nice to see you, sir.


VAN SUSTEREN: You know, it's so tragic about these cases. You know, we never really do get to know the -- you know, the person who died in these murder cases. The family and friends do. And the trials really aren't -- you know, usually really about whether or not the person who's there in the courtroom is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. That's what it's about.

But -- you know, but -- it is -- but who Trayvon is, you know, it's important. So I mean, tell us. You knew him. What was he like?

HORTON: He was just a huge kid. He was a funny kid. He loved to joke. He loved helping people. I mean, this is a kid that at age 14, he saved his father's life. And no one knows that. Stuff like that, you never hear about.

VAN SUSTEREN: Tell us how he saved his father's life. I know because I've, you know, looked into this a little bit. But tell the viewers.

HORTON: His father was -- had fell asleep one time in their apartment after a long day on the park. And he left some grease on the stove, and when the smoke alarm went off, he got up and tried to put the fire out, and he tossed sheet onto the stove. And the grease came off the stove and burned him from his midsection all the way down to the bottom of his feet, and he collapsed.

Trayvon came in and drug him out of the house, out of the apartment, went back in, got his cell phone and called 911. So he saved his father's life. And that eats at Tracy a lot because his son saved his life and he wasn't there to save his son's life.

VAN SUSTEREN: I have no doubt whatsoever that there are broken hearts in this case, and the parents, you know, probably have the biggest broken heart. I am curious, though, whether -- whether the prosecution before this case even began going to trial -- did they talk to the parents and tell them about some of the state of the evidence, the difficulties the prosecution expected to encounter?

HORTON: Yes, they explained all of that, how difficult it was. But what everyone understood and what Tracy and Sybrina understood was the bottom line is, is he was told to stay in his car. He still chose to get out of the car and follow Trayvon. All of this would have been -- would have never happened if he would have never followed Trayvon.

VAN SUSTEREN: Is there any way to sort of -- I mean, because, you know, people (INAUDIBLE) the jury's decided the case. The jury listened to the case. And I understand, you know, the pain of the family and the friends. Is there any way to sort of put the lid on the sort of the simmering hostility? I mean, there's no way to mend the broken heart. I got that. But there's a horrible sort of simmering pain in this country that's causing people to say horrible things and maybe -- you know, and hurt other people in terms of what they say.

HORTON: I think it's so hard because this isn't the first time something like this happened. This happens on and off a lot. You hear about it (INAUDIBLE) You hear about guys being arrested and charged with a crime and spending 15, 20 years in prison, and then a DNA will come out 20 years later and they realize that they're innocent. But they were found guilty and they gave up 20 years of their life.

So -- and most of these people are African-Americans. I mean, everyone talks about gun control laws, but it's OK when it's black on blacks killing each other. No one says anything about it.

VAN SUSTEREN: Well, no, it's not! You know what? Actually, I don't think it is. And there's been an awful lot of crime in Chicago. In fact, that's one of my criticisms of the attorney general. He talked about our neighborhoods, but look at Detroit. Detroit's gone under. When that goes under, there are no jobs for the youth in Detroit and they've got an unemployment level of almost 30 percent, predominantly African-American, and you've got Chicago where it's black on black.

That's not OK with me, either. But you know -- you know, there isn't that attention by some of our leaders. I wish they'd pay attention to that.

HORTON: Right. But that's the reality that we live in. You know, it can bother me, it can bother you, it can bother millions of people in this country, but there's still another 10 million people that it doesn't bother. So if you measure it up, a million versus 10 million, they're going to always go with the 10 million.

VAN SUSTEREN: Is there -- you know, have you spoken to the parents in the last couple days?

HORTON: Yes. I speak to Tracy every day.

VAN SUSTEREN: What does he say? How's he doing?

HORTON: He's disappointed. There's no way he thought that George Zimmerman would be found not guilty. I mean, you got to understand, he lost a son. And everyone -- you keep hearing the defense attorney saying, Give George Zimmerman back his life, let him live his life. Trayvon will never see his life again. You can't give them back their son. He's never going to get -- this is their son who was just walking home. He wasn't bothering anybody. He was walking home.

If he would have just allowed him to walk home, all this would be null and void right now.

VAN SUSTEREN: Jerome, thank you very much for joining us, sir.

HORTON: Thank you so much for having me.