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Trayvon Martin case: Will George Zimmerman be vindicated? Or...?

April 11, 2012|By Rene Lynch

As the nation inches closer to a resolution of sorts in the Trayvon Martin case, lawyers privy to the evidence predicted Wednesday that George Zimmerman will be vindicated, even as they have come under fire for raising questions about Zimmerman's state of mind and the status of their relationship with him.

Craig Sonner and Hal Uhrig made the predictions Wednesday morning during an appearance on CNN's"Early Start." The men said they had been representing Zimmerman until Tuesday, when they held a news conference to say they were withdrawing from that role because Zimmerman had stopped returning their phone calls and had been ignoring their legal advice.

Nonetheless, the men said, they believe that Zimmerman, a neighborhood watch captain for a Sanford, Fla., gated community, did nothing wrong when he opened fire on Martin. "When the facts come out, it'll show he acted in self-defense, that the Police Department made the proper decision in not arresting him as there was not probable cause to make the arrest," Sonner said.

Sonner in particular said he believes that the news media will have some apologizing to do once the full breadth of the evidence in the case is made public. "I believe that he's gotten a raw deal from the media that the media has tried to convict him wrongfully."

Sonner and Uhrig are being criticized in some corners for stepping into the limelight in the case on Tuesday, only to announce that they are no longer involved with Zimmerman. Legal analysis on CNN Wednesday morning raised questions about whether the men were actually even truly representing Zimmerman -- they'd reportedly only communicated with him via email, texts and phone calls, and never actually sat down with him face to face.

Uhrig defended his actions. "We don't think we've done anything improper or illegal and we certainly don’t think we’ve done anything to hurt George Zimmerman," he said on "Early Start." 

Moreover, the men raised questions about Zimmerman's mental status, describing him as isolated, losing weight and most likely suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder.

"Perhaps the pressure has pushed him over the edge," Uhrig said, according to ABC News -- and perhaps that's not the way a client would like to be portrayed to the world in this closely watched case.

The attorney chatter comes as the special prosecutor in the case, Florida state attorney Angela Corey, announced early Tuesday evening that she is "preparing to release new information" in the case within the next 72 hours.

If that timetable holds true, the nation could have new insight into the case by 5 p.m. Friday.

To date, much of the key information revealed in the case has been the result of law enforcement leaks, or media reporting. The nation has been thirsting for details in the case -- fueled in part by civil rights activists who believe racism might have played a role in the killing and a media machine in overdrive.

The result has been that conjecture, speculation and assumptions about what happened that night have helped shaped the case in the country's mind. For example, it was weeks after the shooting before America began hearing greater details about Zimmerman's side of the story -- that he fired in self-defense after Martin struck him in the face, knocked him to the ground and began slamming his head into the pavement.

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