It seems tough times have hit George Zimmerman and his legal defense team as they await trial for the shooting of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin. The former neighborhood watchman’s attorney recently announced their plans to launch the New George Zimmerman Defense Fund next month, reports the Associated Press.
DonorsÂ will be sent “thank you” cards individually signed by Zimmerman for their contributions.
Attorney Mark O’Mara said an existing fund has raised $140,000 since last May, but is running low.
“Currently, the balance of the George Zimmerman Defense Fund is at its lowest, and new funds must be raised to support George’s living expenses and legal costs through the end of the Self Defense Immunity Hearing and/or trial,” states the official website.
After receiving criticism from the Miami Herald and other media outlets, Zimmerman’s public relations team sent out the following statement:
“The Miami Herald used the headline “George Zimmerman to sell autographs toÂ pay expenses,” to describe the policy of the New George Zimmerman Defense FundÂ of sending signed Thank You Cards to individuals who donate.
For those who look for opportunities to criticize George, we understand thatÂ the idea of sending Thank You Cards might be seen as an attempt to sellÂ signatures to gain donations. To those who wish to criticize and ridicule, goÂ right ahead. However, that is not George’s intent. It is presumptuous to assumeÂ that George’s signature is a valuable enough commodity to be an effectiveÂ motivator for people to donate. Rather, what we hope motivates people is theÂ ever increasingly undeniable conclusion that George is simply not guilty. HeÂ only did what he had to do to protect himself from an attack by an unknownÂ assailant; a young man who broke George’s nose, bloodying it, and then got himÂ on the ground and smashed his head into concrete, causing more injury.”
The full statement can be read here.
Zimmerman will head to trial on June 10, but a “stand your ground hearing” could be held by April.Â He has pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder and claims the shooting was self-defense.