- Reuters/Orange County Sheriff's Office
Joe Oliver has been speaking out on his friend George Zimmerman's behalf, hoping to tell another side of the story that has captivated the nation. Now, in a new interview, Oliver has revealed that Zimmerman has completely changed in the wake of the shooting and prays for the Martin family.
Oliver previously appeared on "Good Morning America" and the "Today" show to present a different side to the man accused of murdering 17-year-old Trayvon Martin.
"You've got all these people wanting to lynch the man and they don't know the whole story," Oliver told Reuters. "There are huge gaps that are being filled in and interpreted without evidence."
Now, though, Oliver has spoken with People magazine and offers a more intimate look at his friend's life since the shooting.
"He's not the man that I knew before the shooting. He's a completely different man; he'll never be the same. He prays for Trayvon and he prays for the Martin family," Oliver said.
Indeed, Zimmerman's life has been turned upside down by the shooting.
"He's moved," Oliver told Today show hosts. "They've disconnected their phone numbers. They're in hiding, and they're fearful."
There is currently a $10,000 bounty for Zimmerman's capture, though the man who originally offered the reward has been arrested.
Oliver's words to People stand in contrast to his earlier account of Zimmerman's behavior in the days following the shooting.
"Because he was there and knows what happened … he's been very confident, naively, that this would all blow over," Oliver previously told the hosts of "Good Morning America."
Yet now it seems as if Oliver is changing the tone of his words in order to possibly gain a new sympathy for his friend.
"He is so distraught that he took a life," Oliver said of Zimmerman. "That's the price he had to pay for saving his own. In his mind, he shot in self-defense. He felt he had no other choice," he told People.