http://www.thestar.com/news/world/artic ... grand-jury
Trayvon Martin shooter creates fundraising website
ORLANDO, FLA.—From hiding, George Zimmerman has created a website to raise money for his legal defence and living expenses while he awaits a special prosecutor’s decision whether to charge him in the shooting death of unarmed black teenager Trayvon Martin.
One of Zimmerman’s lawyers, Craig Sonner, confirmed on Monday the site was legitimately Zimmerman’s.
“He is operating this on his own,” Sonner told Reuters.
The website, called therealgeorgezimmerman.com, offers one of the first public comments from Zimmerman since the neighbourhood watch volunteer shot Martin on Feb. 26 in what he said was self-defence.
He went into hiding shortly after the shooting, which generated nationwide controversy after police declined to arrest him. A special prosecutor is weighing whether to seek criminal charges after announcing Monday that she would not take the case before a grand jury.
“On Sunday February 26th, I was involved in a life altering event which led me to become the subject of intense media coverage,” Zimmerman says on the home page. “I have been forced to leave my home, my school, my employer, my family and ultimately, my entire life.”
The home page links to a PayPal donation form. Zimmerman promised to “maintain accountability” for any money received.
The case led to protests across the country demanding that Zimmerman be arrested. Critics say Zimmerman, 28, who is white and Hispanic, thought Martin, 17, was suspicious and followed him because he was black.
Zimmerman told police that Martin attacked him and he shot the teenager in self-defence.
Martin’s family has established the Justice for Trayvon Martin Foundation to raise money “to support awareness of civil rights, social justice and the quality of life for young black men,” according to a website that said it has collected nearly $21,000 as of Monday.
Meanwhile, the special prosecutor in the Martin case, Angela Corey, said Monday that her investigation will continue but the grand jury will not hear the case, as had been scheduled for Tuesday.
In a statement, Corey said the decision did not reflect whether there will ultimately be a prosecution. Instead, her office can choose on its own whether to charge Zimmerman with a crime in Martin’s death.
The grand jury had been called upon by Seminole-Brevard State Attorney Norm Wolfinger, who initially was handling the case but has since stepped aside.
Martin family attorney Benjamin Crump said the teen’s parents are “not surprised” by the announcement, and remain hopeful that Zimmerman will soon be arrested.
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