Saturday, May 26, 2018

Trayvon Martin's mother seeks money from homeowners association, state fund

ORLANDO — Trayvon Martin's mother is asking for at least $75,000 from the homeowners association of the gated community where her teenage son was fatally shot by neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman, court documents show.

Sybrina Fulton also has asked for an undisclosed amount of money from a state fund set up to help crime victims with things like funeral expenses and counseling, according to state documents obtained by the Associated Press.

Court documents filed last week by the gated community's insurance company show that Fulton filed a claim related to her son's death. The policy has a $1 million limit on payouts.

Travelers Casualty and Surety Company of America asked a judge in the court papers to relieve the insurer of its duty to defend the claim, saying an exclusion clause in its policy contract absolves it of paying for losses caused by or resulting in bodily injury. The insurer issued its yearlong policy to the gated community, Retreat at Twin Lakes, on March 30. Martin was shot about a month earlier on Feb. 26.

Zimmerman, 28, has pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder and says he shot the 17-year-old in self-defense under Florida's "stand your ground" law. The law allows people to use deadly force, rather than retreat, if they believe their lives are in danger. He is free on $1 million bail as he awaits trial. Zimmerman wasn't charged until 44 days after Martin's death.

The documents on the state crime victims' fund, obtained through a public records request, show Fulton applied for the compensation benefits last March. It was not immediately clear how Martin's family would use the money.

The state Attorney General's Office, which administers the Crimes Compensation Trust Fund, refused to disclose the sum sought by Fulton and her former husband, Tracy Martin. Payouts can reach $30,000.

In a March 29 letter, a claims analyst with the Attorney General's Office notified Fulton that she had been deemed eligible for the compensation benefits. However, no check had been issued to Martin's parents as of early August.

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