The attorneys for George Zimmerman, the community watch volunteer who fatally shot unarmed teenager Trayvon Martin, said Tuesday they have lost touch with their client and are withdrawing from the case.
Craig Sonner and Hal Uhrig said at a news conference outside the Seminole County Courthhouse in Sanford, Fla., that they heard that Zimmerman on Tuesday had contacted a special prosecutor who will decide whether or not to press charges against him, against their advice.
They said they have not talked to Zimmerman, whose location is not known, in person in at least two days but in the past had spoken with him over the phone. “We can’t represent him unless he comes forward and asks us,” Uhrig said.
The attorneys also expressed concern about Zimmerman’s “emotional and physical safety” and said they have reservations about a website Zimmerman set up to solicit money for help in his defense.
“Him setting up his own web site is fine,” Sonner said. “I wish he would have told me.”
Zimmerman is the neighborhood watch volunteer who has admitted to fatally shooting the 17-year-old Martin on Feb. 26.
Zimmerman, whose father is white and his mother Hispanic, says he shot Martin, who was black, in self-defense after following him in a gated community in Sanford.
The lack of an arrest or charges in the case has sparked protests nationwide with many claiming that Zimmerman confronted Martin because of his race. Zimmerman’s supporters deny that.
Special prosecutor Angela Corey is investigating the fatal shooting in Florida; the U.S. Justice Department is also investigating the case.