Lawyers for Shooter of Trayvon Martin Withdraw From Case

Attorneys say they have lost contact with their client.

Posted: 04/10/2012 04:45 PM EDT

In a dramatic turn of events in the Trayvon Martin case, lawyers for George Zimmerman, the shooter of the 17-year-old high school student, have withdrawn from the case, saying they have lost contact with him.

“He’s gone on his own,” said Craig Sonner, one of two lawyers who have been handling Zimmerman’s case. “I’m not sure what he’s doing or who he’s talking to. He has not returned text messages or emails, leading me to believe I can’t go forward.”

But his lawyer said that their dropping the case should not be perceived as having any relationship to his innocence in the case. The lawyers maintain Zimmerman killed Trayvon Martin in self-defense.

Lawyers Sonner and Hal Uhrig said Zimmerman had become unreachable and that he has remained in hiding, hinting that he was somewhere very far away from Florida.

Zimmerman has been the focal point of a national controversy over the killing of the unarmed teenager in February in Sanford, a suburb of Orlando.

Sonner said that, prior to the weekend, “We had multiple conversations. We talked every day. Communications was there.” The lawyers added that they were not owed any money from Zimmerman.

The attorneys said that Zimmerman has been in touch with the prosecutor’s office, saying it was his intention to come in and to answer any questions they might have. “If they were anticipating an arrest, they wouldn’t have had very far to get him.”

He added, “He’s not going to flee the country.”

The special prosecutor in the case announced earlier in the week that she would not use a grand jury in the case. It was unclear whether the special prosecutor’s office might charge Zimmerman for the killing.

Ben Crump, an attorney for Trayvon’s family, said they're concerned that Zimmerman may become a flight risk. "At this point, we're just concerned that nobody knows where he is at. Nobody knows how to get to him," Crump told the Associated Press.


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