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George Zimmerman reportedly hires a criminal defense lawyer

April 04, 2012|By Connie Stewart
  • This photo combo shows George Zimmerman. At left is a 2005 booking photo provided by the Orange County Jail via The Miami Herald, and at right is an undated but recent photo.
This photo combo shows George Zimmerman. At left is a 2005 booking photo… (Associated Press )

George Zimmerman reportedly has an experienced criminal defense attorney in his corner now.

The Neighborhood Watch volunteer who says he shot an unarmed teenager, Trayvon Martin, in self-defense Feb. 26 had been represented by a solo practitioner, Craig Sonner, who had never defended anyone accused of homicide.

But late Tuesday, veteran criminal defense attorney Craig Uhrig told Orlando television station WOFL that he was joining the case. Uhrig often works with Sonner, the Orlando Sentinel reported. 

Zimmerman, 28, has not been charged, but the case is under investigation by state and federal authorities. He is citing Florida's "Stand Your Ground" law, which allows someone to shoot rather than retreat if he or she feels threatened. 

On the night that Martin, 17, was shot to death, Zimmerman called police to report him as a suspicious person walking through a gated neighborhood in Sanford, Fla. He followed the youth, who was on his way back to the home of his father's fiancee, who lived in the gated neighborhood. Martin was carrying Skittles, an iced tea and a cellphone.

A police dispatcher told Zimmerman there was no need to follow Martin. When the pair got into an altercation, neighbors called police to report a fight. The fatal shot can be heard during a 911 call. 

Zimmerman told police he had lost track of Martin, who reappeared and confronted him. He says Martin punched him in the nose and slammed his head into the pavement. 

Uhrig told WOFL he is sure Zimmerman is telling the truth, in part because Zimmerman passed a voice-stress test administered by Sanford police.  

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