Zimmerman Nearly Broke, Wants Floridians to Foot His Bill

Lawyer will seek to declare him indigent

By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff

Posted Aug 14, 2012 8:20 AM CDT

(Newser) – George Zimmerman is almost out of money—so his lawyer is about to ask the public to foot the bill for his trial. "He really has to live as a hermit, unfortunately," says lawyer Mark O'Mara. "He's not doing well. He's getting by." His legal defense fund is down to $50,000, he has $20,000 in unpaid bills, and both he and his wife are in hiding—meaning neither of them is working. They're also paying for security since "Seminole County is unquestionably the most dangerous county, most expensive county for him to be in," O'Mara says.

So O'Mara plans to ask the court to declare Zimmerman indigent—or officially broke—which is where the public comes into the equation, because an indigency ruling would mean the state pays all Zimmerman's legal expenses other than lawyer fees. "How much have I been paid? Zero," says O'Mara, who adds that he will represent Zimmerman for free if he has to. Zimmerman received more than $250,000 in donations, but those have recently slowed, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel reports.

In this June 29, 2012 file photo, George Zimmerman, left, and attorney Don West appear before Circuit Judge Kenneth R. Lester, Jr. at the Seminole County Criminal Justice Center in Sanford, Fla.
In this June 29, 2012 file photo, George Zimmerman, left, and attorney Don West appear before Circuit Judge Kenneth R. Lester, Jr. at the Seminole County Criminal Justice Center in Sanford, Fla.   (AP Photo/Orlando Sentinel, Joe Burbank, Pool)
In this Friday, June 29, 2012 file photo, George Zimmerman enters the courtroom before he appears before Circuit Judge Kenneth R. Lester, Jr.
In this Friday, June 29, 2012 file photo, George Zimmerman enters the courtroom before he appears before Circuit Judge Kenneth R. Lester, Jr.   (AP Photo/Orlando Sentinel, Joe Burbank, Pool, File)
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