Atty: Zimmerman bail hearing next week

Atty: Zimmerman bail hearing next week

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    For the first time since that fateful night on February 26, the father of a neighborhood watch volunteer who shot and killed an unarmed teenager sat down for a television interview.
    For the first time since that fateful night on February 26, the father of a neighborhood watch volunteer who shot and killed an unarmed teenager sat down for a television interview.

George Zimmerman made his initial appearance in a Seminole County court on Thursday for his second-degree murder charge in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin.

Zimmerman has hired Orlando attorney Mark O'Mara, who has a 27-year career as a Florida defense attorney and was a familiar face on television last summer as a legal expert in the Casey Anthony trial.

O'Mara stood next to Zimmerman at Zimmerman's court appearance, asking that certain records related to his case be sealed.

Attorneys described the 56-year-old O'Mara as self-effacing and reserved. When asked why he took the case, he said simply, "It's what I do."

O'Mara grew up in New York City and moved with his family to Florida after he graduated high school and his father retired.

George Zimmerman's father, Robert, told FOX 35 that it was his son's decision to hire O'Mara. He says his son's emotions, and those of the whole family, have been unsettled.

As George Zimmerman sat behind bars on Thursday, O'Mara held a news conference where he spoke about the sorrow his client feels for Trayvon Martin's parents.

"That really needs to be communicated to those who deserve it the most and that's the Martin family. "

O'Mara described how exhausting it has been for Zimmerman.

"Well he's tired, you know. It's been a very long period of time for him, and he's gone through some tribulations of his own, being the focus of the intensity of this event."

Zimmerman pleaded not guilty to the murder charges, arguing all along that it was self defense.

"He's facing second-degree murder charges now. He's frightened, that would frighten any one of us, but I am not concerned as others may have been before me of his focus. He wants, he's glad the process is in place."

O'Mara said this case can now play out in court the way it should be, "My concern before I was involved in the case was that this matter was being handled in a piecemeal fashion."

Trayvon Martin's supporters fought for weeks to win an arrest after the 17-year-old was fatally shot by a neighborhood watch volunteer in Florida.  Now, O'Mara has begun what could be a lengthy legal battle to free his client from the second-degree murder charge filed in the case.  The first step will be to try to get his client out of jail while the legal process continues.  A bail hearing has been scheduled for next week.

"I hope to have him released on bond, but at that time, I hope a place for him to be safe," said O'Mara.

Zimmerman is expected to be back before a judge on May 29.
 

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  • Click here for stories, photos and 911 calls from the Trayvon Martin case.

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