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. dave

    This story just gets more bizarre by the day.

    April 10, 2012 at 4:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • LookWithin

      This guy is not great at impulse control.

      April 10, 2012 at 4:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • Denny

      So these are the two attorneys that are convinced that he didn't kill Travon, yet they've never met him and now he makes them look stupid!

      April 10, 2012 at 4:56 pm | Report abuse |
  2. AL in West Palm Beach

    I'll break the news to you....

    Zimmerman will be charged AGRAVATED MANSLAUGHTER....

    Note::: I have no insider knowledge of this.

    April 10, 2012 at 4:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • dmstyres

      He should be charged...he took a life. Doesn't matter what race, he killed a fellow human.

      April 10, 2012 at 4:47 pm | Report abuse |
  3. hannamomma

    Thank you for getting the individual's races accurate! You are the first I have senn do it correctly.

    April 10, 2012 at 4:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • bayoubeauxns

      and that matters why?

      April 10, 2012 at 4:49 pm | Report abuse |
  4. d~

    where's the flippin' "live blog"?

    April 10, 2012 at 4:44 pm | Report abuse |
  5. LiquaFoo

    This guy is an idiot. He's talking to people with out attorney's. What a moron.

    April 10, 2012 at 4:46 pm | Report abuse |
  6. TonyInNYC

    Who could've imagined that killing someone could become so complicated?

    April 10, 2012 at 4:48 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Stern

    He is asking the public to donate for his legal fees so that he can defend himself against a murder he committed of a 17 year old 145 lbs child.

    Zimmerman should be in jail already.

    April 10, 2012 at 4:48 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Don

    maybe someone "stood their ground" to him.

    April 10, 2012 at 4:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • WorriedTX

      One can only hope!

      April 10, 2012 at 5:44 pm | Report abuse |
  9. luvsthecity

    What ever happened to that Joe Oliver guy? His friend from work? I haven't heard from him in two weeks? Zimmerman is making every wrong move to be made in this case. He is making things much worse for himself with these steps.

    April 10, 2012 at 4:48 pm | Report abuse |
  10. ran

    so we should feel sorry because he has to hide in a room afraid, but was he afraid when he ran down a 17 boy, stalked him then pulled gun on him while this young man was screaming for his life. i mean like he called him a koon. he hunted that child like a aminal and when he goes to jail he will see, what it is like to be stalked and hunt by so many men. You rip what you sow., Mr. zimmerman. Justice for trayvon!!

    April 10, 2012 at 4:49 pm | Report abuse |
  11. dave

    So they set up a bank account and then all of a sudden he drops his attorneys? After trying to contact the prosecutor on his own? This guys doesn't seem wrapped too tight. Im also questioning his judgement with regards to feeling like his life was threatened. If he is this unstable, he definitely doesn't need a concealed gun permit.

    April 10, 2012 at 4:49 pm | Report abuse |
  12. banasy©

    Zimmerman going rogue.
    Go figure.

    April 10, 2012 at 4:51 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Todd in DC

    Zimmerman sure isn't acting like someone who killed in self defense. He also isn't acting like someone who has no second thoughts as to what he did.

    He's acting scared. And I don't think he is acting.

    April 10, 2012 at 4:51 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Diane

    Takimg the situation in his own hands against advice--dejavu?

    April 10, 2012 at 4:51 pm | Report abuse |
  15. asdfr

    This story sucks, let the justice system do it's job.

    April 10, 2012 at 4:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tiff

      You are such an idiot

      April 10, 2012 at 6:44 pm | Report abuse |
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