Attorneys drop Zimmerman
Attorneys Craig Sonner (left) and Hal Uhrig told reporters Tuesday afternoon that they hadn't heard from George Zimmerman since Sunday.
April 10th, 2012
05:29 PM ET

Attorneys drop Zimmerman

The following are details from a press conference by the former attorneys for George Zimmerman, a neighborhood watch volunteer who authorities say fatally shot an unarmed teenager in Florida. The attorneys said Tuesday that they're no longer representing him, because they have lost contact with him.

Zimmerman's attorneys, Hal Uhrig and Craig Sonner, said that Zimmerman has taken a number of steps without them since Sunday, but that they would be willing to represent him again if he asked them.

[Updated at 5:29 p.m. ET] The news conference has finished. The attorneys used much of it to continue to argue that Zimmerman acted in self-defense in the shooting, which police said happened after Zimmerman had called 911 to complain about a suspicious person in his neighborhood in Sanford, Florida.

Uhrig said Zimmerman's account of his February 26 confrontation with Trayvon Martin was that Martin became the aggressor when Zimmerman asked Martin what he was doing, and that Martin hit Zimmerman in the nose.

The crime that was committed that night, Uhrig said, was battery against George Zimmerman.

[Updated at 5:20 p.m. ET] Uhrig and Sonner have said several times that they believe the evidence in the Trayvon Martin shooting, including forensics, will show that Zimmerman was acting in self-defense.

"We still, frankly, are optimistic there will never be a need for him to turn himself in," Uhrig said.

"There's no evidence since the day the Earth cooled whatsoever that George Zimmerman ever has been racially motivated," Uhrig added.

Some supporters of Trayvon Martin, who was black, say they wonder whether Zimmerman, who is Hispanic, was motivated by race. Uhrig said that Zimmerman is not racist.

[Updated at 5:13 p.m. ET] Uhrig and Sonner said they have yet to meet Zimmerman in person, and through Sunday had contacted him only by phone, texts and e-mails.

Sonner said he is "reasonably sure" he knows where Zimmerman is, adding that his former client is somewhere in the United States.

Uhrig said that people who were hunting for Zimmerman "can stop looking in Florida."

[Updated at 5:08 p.m. ET] Uhrig said that pressure might have "pushed him a little over the edge and (he) thought, 'I'm going to take care of it myself."

"Our thought process is, we're professionals. We do this for a living. We try to do a good job of it, but we are not going to put ourselves out to the public ... unless he makes it clear to us that he wants us as his lawyers," Uhrig said.

[Updated at 5:02 p.m. ET] Uhrig said Zimmerman has taken his own steps since they lost contact with him on Sunday, including:

- Setting up his own website under a different Web address than what the attorneys had arranged with him.

- Speaking to Fox News' Sean Hannity by phone, apparently off the record. "(Hannity) is not willing to tell us what our client told him."

- Calling the special prosecutor's office directly, as opposed to through his attorneys, and offering to come in and answer investigators' questions. The prosecutor's office told Zimmerman that they weren't going to talk to him without counsel, Uhrig said.

[Updated at 4:52 p.m. ET] Uhrig said he and Sonner still stand by what they've said previously in defense of Zimmerman. Sonner said he still believes Zimmerman shot Trayvon Martin in self-defense.

[Updated at 4:49 p.m. ET] The attorneys for George Zimmerman, a neighborhood watch volunteer who authorities say fatally shot an unarmed teenager in Florida, say they're no longer representing him, because they have lost contact with him.

Attorneys Craig Sonner and Hal Uhrig say they last had contact with Zimmerman on Sunday. Since then, Zimmerman hasn't returned their phone calls or text messages, they told reporters Tuesday afternoon.

"He has gone on his own. I don't know what he's doing or who he's talking to," Sonner said. "... “I cannot represent a client who doesn’t stay in contact with me.”

Sonner said he and Uhrig would resume representing Zimmerman if he asks them.

[Initial post, 4:22 p.m. ET] The attorneys for neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman, who authorities say fatally shot an unarmed teenager in Florida, are expected to speak to the news media about the case Tuesday afternoon.

Watch this page for developments.

Police say Zimmerman fatally shot Trayvon Martin, a 17-year-old African-American, on February 26 in Sanford, Florida, after Martin began walking home from a convenience store. Zimmerman, who is Hispanic, had called 911 to complain about a suspicious person in the neighborhood.

Zimmerman told Sanford police the shooting was self-defense, and Zimmerman was released without charges. Authorities have said Zimmerman was not immediately charged because there were no grounds, at the outset, to disprove his account that he'd acted to protect himself.

But thousands have converged on Sanford to join in protests calling for Zimmerman's arrest and criticizing the police department's handling of the case. Martin's death has triggered a nationwide debate about race in America and Florida's "stand your ground" law, which allows people to use deadly force anywhere they feel a reasonable threat of death or serious injury.

A special prosecutor is investigating the case, and has not indicated when she will decide whether to file charges.

soundoff (173 Responses)
  1. Boo Yah

    Doing it his way...isn't that how he got in this mess???

    April 10, 2012 at 5:02 pm | Report abuse |
  2. DJK

    Looks like Zimmerman's lawyers finally caught on to what the lead investigator knew: Zimmerman's claims of self defense are bogus, it makes no sense for an unarmed kid 100 yards from his front door to attack - for no reason and with intent to kill - a stranger with gun who outweighed him by 50 pounds, and their client is unstable with a history of arrests and firings for violent and aggressive behavior.

    Zimmerman's house of cards continues to fall.

    April 10, 2012 at 5:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • DJK wrong

      you couldnt be more wrong DJK.

      April 10, 2012 at 5:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • BeverlyNC

      Zimmerman is a liar, a murderer, and playing the public for money. The prosecutors better find out where he is since his "lawyers" seem to have no clue. Zimmerman is a lunatic. Arrest him, try him, put him in jail for life. Or if he is really "crazy" as he is pretending just let him kill himself and save everyone the hassle of a trial and give Trayon's family the justice for their son. It is disgusting he is not already in jail.

      April 10, 2012 at 5:16 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Rhope

    I'm concerned for his safety – Zimmerman, that is.
    He could even commit suicide because of all the attention this has created. If he is harmed or commit suicide, the police ougt to take the blame.

    April 10, 2012 at 5:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • bob

      the police are not the ones who have predetermined that he is guilty.

      April 10, 2012 at 5:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • Counteract

      Yeah, you people (lynch mob) and the media (lynch mob/race baiters) bear no responsibility if that happens.

      April 10, 2012 at 5:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • grafixer

      Seriously? A boy is dead. Who is taking the blame for that? Really? Zimmerman should be arrested and a court should decide if he is guilty. If he isn't man enough to deal with this, he wasn't man enough to be carrying a weapon.

      April 10, 2012 at 5:11 pm | Report abuse |
  4. wolf god ® ©

    Obama and Romney's wolf god will set these matters straight.

    April 10, 2012 at 5:04 pm | Report abuse |
  5. AFMama

    I just listened to part of the news conference and I didn't hear either attorney say they are not representing him. They said if he chooses to not have them represent him, that is his choice. CNN and Fox are both misrepresenting this story...once again...

    April 10, 2012 at 5:04 pm | Report abuse |
  6. JML

    "Attorneys for the man who killed Trayvon Martin, George Zimmerman, say they will not represent him because they've lost contact with him." This is CNN's headline!!! WOW!! I have no idea what happened but CNN has already convicted him..They have now opened themselves up for some serious legal problems coming their way!!

    April 10, 2012 at 5:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • banasy©

      It's never been disputed that Zimmerman killed him....the question has always if it was in self-defense or in cold blood.

      April 10, 2012 at 5:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • bencoates57

      Idiot.

      April 10, 2012 at 5:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • Chox

      Really? He didn't kill Martin? I think what you mean is he hasn't been convicted of "murdering" him. Trayvon died due to a gunshot wound inflicted by Zimmerman, thus he killed him.

      April 10, 2012 at 5:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • Adam

      That...sounds pretty factual to me. I'm not clear on what you think CNN would be liable for.

      April 10, 2012 at 5:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • Lil C

      CNN didn't already convict George Zimmerman, George Z. already admitted to killing Trayvon Martin in self defense. CNN didn't say George Z. committed murder. It's all good.

      April 10, 2012 at 5:24 pm | Report abuse |
  7. RegisQuando

    I wouldn't worry too much about suicide. A suicidal guy probably isn't calling Sean Hannity about an interview and looking for book deal. He might even stack the deck a little more by gunning down another black kid in Florida in "self-defense."

    April 10, 2012 at 5:05 pm | Report abuse |
  8. bob

    no matter what the end result is, this guy is screwed. might as well see how long he can remain free. innocent or guilty this guy is ruined for life because of the media. good luck man!

    April 10, 2012 at 5:06 pm | Report abuse |
  9. wolf god, gift from

    In any Windows application like Notepad or Photoshop, the numeric keypad is used in combination with the Alt key. Activate the numeric keypad by pressing the NumLock key.
    ■For the Copyright symbol (©) Hold the Alt key down and type 0169.
    ■For the Trademark symbol (TM) Hold the Alt key down and type 0153.
    ■For the Registered symbol (®) Hold the Alt key down and type 0174. 🙂

    April 10, 2012 at 5:08 pm | Report abuse |
  10. ALLAMERICAN

    Clients often let go attorneys and this is for various reasons, but the biggest of all is the Trust, the Confidence in them. This is also an indication that Zimmerman's case is weak, but it also means he finally got a break through in donations and perhaps can offered more high profile lawyers...

    April 10, 2012 at 5:08 pm | Report abuse |
  11. JanetFromMD

    He's probably in Mexico by now!

    April 10, 2012 at 5:10 pm | Report abuse |
  12. thomiss

    Who cares about Zimmerman's well being. I hope he is experiencing pure hell even with the fire of hell. His mental health is of no concern to millions of people. In fact, this is good to know that this demon is experiencing hell. This is the state of the mind that shot and killed Trayvon Martin. This is crazy let the creep go on in his hell.

    April 10, 2012 at 5:11 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Kim S

    Zimmerman is obviously saving himself a boat load of legal fees. If he is truely not guilty, than the usual public defender should be good enough. Or, he knows the game is up and has taken the opportunity afforded him by the prosecutor, and fled the country before charges can be filed and his travel restricted. Or, who knows, maybe he's just been out for a walk to get some skittles.

    April 10, 2012 at 5:11 pm | Report abuse |
  14. bencoates57

    This guy takes EVERYTHING into his own hands, now doesn't he? First police work. Now lawyering and blogging.

    April 10, 2012 at 5:11 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Trina

    Why are they still talking??? Why are they still defending him when they just stepped down.

    April 10, 2012 at 5:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • areck

      Exactly, Trina.

      April 10, 2012 at 5:42 pm | Report abuse |
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