Less than 24 hours after Mark O’Mara raced over to the Lake Mary, Fla., home where his client George Zimmerman was detained by cops after they were called by his estranged wife, the man who successfully defended the killer of Trayvon Martin against a second-degree murder charge called it quits.
“I am not representing George Zimmerman in his recent domestic altercation case or his impending divorce case,” O’Mara told CNN. He’ll still represent him in his defamation suit against NBC, though. Still, O’Mara must be thrilled to be done with his problematic former client.
Shellie Zimmerman’s 911 call yesterday after George “punched my dad in the nose” said it all.
[H]e’s in his car. And he continually has his hands on his gun and he keeps saying, “Step closer.” He’s just threatening all of us with his firearm — and he’s going to shoot us. … I’m really, really afraid. … I don’t know what he’s capable of. I’m really, really scared. … [Dad], get back inside; George might start shooting at us.
Yet, neither Shellie nor her father pressed charges. In fact, Lake Mary Police Chief Steve Bracknell said late yesterday that Shellie “changed her story and says she didn’t see a firearm.” In an ABC News report, Bracknell said, “We did not take a gun at all, because there was no reason to take a gun, because his gun was in his truck.” The story also noted that police said that Shellie “told them she never saw a gun but saw George Zimmerman’s hands near where she believed he would have had a weapon.”
But O’Mara’s interview with CNN’s Anderson Cooper — where he tried to downplay what happened as “some pushing and touching. … Nobody was injured” — confirmed that Zimmerman did indeed have a gun.
Cooper: Did Zimmerman have a gun in the car?
O’Mara: He had a gun with him, yes. And he was allowed to. And I know there were some reports that he did not have a gun with him, he did.
Cooper later asked O’Mara if he was concerned that Zimmerman was armed given the stress he is under.
O’Mara: Well, he acted appropriately. He never took the weapon out. And the only thing he really did, which he told the police, was on the outside of his shirt, he made sure that the gun wasn’t moving anywhere and didn’t do anything because Mr. Dean [Shellie’s father] was sort of coming at him. That can sort of be seen in the video.
Cooper: So, he had the gun actually on his person not actually in the glove box of his car?
O’Mara: That’s correct.
Perhaps it was that bit of clean-up duty that was the last straw for O’Mara. Zimmerman has been in the spotlight four times since his July acquittal. There was the rescue of a family from an overturned SUV. There were the two speeding tickets. There was the tour of the headquarters for Kel-Tec, the makers of the gun Zimmerman used to shoot and kill Martin. And now comes yesterday’s “domestic altercation case,” which could still yield charges against him.
At the rate Zimmerman is going, he’ll once again need serious legal representation. By walking away from Zimmerman, O’Mara ensures he won’t be a part of drama to come.
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