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George Zimmerman’s attorney told a Florida newspaper that his client plans to ask the state of Florida to cover the $200,000 to $300,000 of his legal expenses.
Defense attorney Mark O’Mara told the Orlando Sentinel Monday night that because Zimmerman was acquitted in the killing Trayvon Martin, state law requires Florida to pay all his legal costs, except the fee that goes to his lawyers.
This includes the cost of expert witnesses, travel, depositions, photocopies – even the animated 3-D video defense attorneys showed during closing arguments that depicts Martin punching Zimmerman.
O’Mara said he would soon prepare a motion asking Circuit Judge Debra S. Nelson to authorize the payments.
He said they are still calculating final tallies, but he estimated the request would total $200,000 to $300,000. This would be on top of the estimated $902,000 that public agencies already have spent on Zimmerman’s trial that ended July 13.
According to the Orlando Sentinel, the money could come from the Judicial Administrative Commission, the state agency that pays the non-lawyer legal expenses of indigent defendants.
The 29-year-old Zimmerman was found innocent last month of second-degree murder or manslaughter in the shooting of 17-year-old Martin, an unarmed black high-school junior from Miami Gardens, in Sanford, Fla. The jury also declined to convict him on a lesser charge of manslaughter.
Throughout the five-week trial Zimmerman, a neighborhood watch volunteer, maintained the killing was an act of self-defense.
His acquittal prompted demonstrations across the country, including violence in Los Angeles and Oakland, Calif.