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Published: Tuesday, 4/10/2012

Zimmerman's lawyers withdraw from Fla. shooting case, say they've lost contact with him

ASSOCIATED PRESS
George Zimmerman George Zimmerman
ORLANDO SENTINEL Enlarge

SANFORD, Fla.— Two attorneys for the Florida neighborhood watch volunteer who fatally shot 17-year-old Trayvon Martin said Tuesday that they have withdrawn as his counsel because they have lost contact with him and he is taking actions related to the case without consulting them.

Attorney Craig Sonner and Hal Uhrig said at a news conference they haven't heard from George Zimmerman since Sunday. They said that against their advice, Zimmerman contacted the special prosecutor who will decide if he should face charges. A spokeswoman for Angela Corey's office didn't immediately respond to an email and two phone calls.

Zimmerman says he shot Martin in self-defense after following the teenager in a Sanford, a gated community outside Orlando. He said after he followed Martin for a time, he was returning to his truck when the teen attacked him. He shot the unarmed teen to death during the altercation.

Attorney Hal Uhrig said that his legal team is still concerned about Zimmerman, who he said is "not doing well emotionally" and may be suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder.

The lack of an arrest has led to protests across the nation and spurred a debate about race and the laws of self-defense. Zimmerman's father is white and his mother is Hispanic.

Craig Sonner, the first attorney Zimmerman contacted, said he agreed to take the case on a pro bono basis until Zimmerman is perhaps charged.

Sonner said he has never talked to Zimmerman face-to-face and that the 28-year-old man has gone into hiding but that he believes he's still in the U.S. Both attorneys said they'd be willing to represent him again if he asks.

Ben Crump, an attorney for Martin's family, said they're concerned that Zimmerman could be a flight risk if he is charged with a crime since his now-former attorneys don't know how to contact him.

"At this point, we're just concerned that nobody knows where he is at. Nobody knows how to get to him," Crump said.



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