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George Zimmerman's attorneys sever ties

April 10, 2012|By Steve Padilla
  • Hal Uhrig, right, and Craig Sonner announce that they have quit as attorneys for George Zimmerman.
Hal Uhrig, right, and Craig Sonner announce that they have quit as attorneys… (Phelan M. Ebenhack / Associated…)

Two lawyers who had been representing George Zimmerman, the neighborhood watch volunteer who shot Trayvon Martin in Sanford, Fla., said Tuesday that their client had cut off contact with them and that they were no longer his legal counsel.

Attorneys Craig Sonner and Hal Uhrig said in a televised news conference Tuesday afternoon in Florida that Zimmerman was not returning their email or telephone calls. They have not been in contact with him since Sunday night.

“I’ve lost contact with him at this point,” Sonner said.

“Whenever we call him, the call goes to voicemail,” Uhrig said.

Uhrig added that he still believes Zimmerman acted in self-defense when he shot and killed the unarmed teenager in February. Some people have charged that Martin was a victim of racial profiling and have demanded that authorities arrest Zimmerman. Although friends and family members of Zimmerman have spoken out in support of him, he has remained in seclusion for weeks.

Uhrig added that he and Sonner could no longer work with Zimmerman given his lack of communication and his failure to follow their advice.

Uhrig said the final straw was Zimmerman’s decision to contact the special prosecutor reviewing the case. He had been advised to stay away from the prosecutor. “We heard today Zimmerman contacted the prosecutor’s office directly,” Uhrig said.

That bit of news left the attorneys “a bit astonished,” Uhrig said. He added that the special prosecutor’s office declined to speak with Zimmerman without counsel. Uhrig praised the office for that decision.

Zimmerman surprised his former attorneys in another way as well. They learned Tuesday, they said, that a website had been created to accept donations for Zimmerman’s defense.

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