Zimmerman is the neighborhood watch captain of a gated community in Sanford, Fla, who is charged in the death of Trayvon Martin on Feb. 26. He claims the shooting was in self-defense.
The website noted, “It (social media) is now a critical part of presidential politics. It has been part of revolutions in the Middle East, and it is going to be an unavoidable part of high-profile legal cases, just as traditional media has been and continues to be. We feel it would be irresponsible to ignore the robust online conversation, and we feel equally as strong about establishing a professional, responsible, and ethical approach to new media.”
The site said the defense is working to identify and eliminate fraudulent websites and social media profiles that pretend to represent Zimmerman. O’Mara will not comment on facts surrounding the case. “Part of our presence online is to discourage public speculation about the facts of the case,” the site said. The defense is using the site to discuss how it plans to proceed with requesting case documents in the case from state prosecutors.
“We are concerned about the release of witness information to the general public, solely due to safety concerns. There has been a lot of animosity and emotions caused by incomplete and premature disclosure of information. Because those emotions still run so high, we want to do everything we can to protect the sanctity of the process and the safety of the witnesses. No good purpose will be served by a media frenzy directed at witnesses,” the site said.
What evidence Special Prosecutor Angela Corey has that prompted her to charge George Zimmerman with murdering Trayvon Martin is still unknown.
Corey will be required by law to release the evidence – which fills several boxes. But what will it show?
“It’ll be like little bits and pieces that will have to be strung together,” said Adam Pollack, an Orlando criminal-trial attorney.
“Almost a bunch of little dots. Initially, the little dots don’t make much sense, but if you step back, you see a bigger picture.”
The public could get access in the next few days – although there may be delays – because prosecutors are legally required to share evidence with the defense and, once that happens, the information becomes public.
Zimmerman has said he shot Trayvon in self-defense after the teen punched him, knocked him to the ground and then began pounding his head on a sidewalk.
“I definitely want to know what injuries the defendant suffered, what type of injuries and to what extent they were documented,” said Pollack.
The most important witness in the case may be Zimmerman. According to prosecutor Bernie de la Rionda, the defendant gave five statements to authorities. Police described one as a re-enactment.
“I want to know,” said former Seminole County prosecutor Donna Goerner, “exactly what did he say.”
“If his statements have a lot of inconsistencies in them,” said Orlando criminal-defense attorney David Fussell, “then that can be problematic for the defense.”
However, he also cautioned that it’s not unusual for people in traumatic situations to alter their stories slightly over time, whether intentionally or not.
Trayvon Martin died of a single gunshot wound to the chest, but the results of his autopsy should reveal how close the gun was when it went off and the bullet’s trajectory, lawyers said.
More important, said Goerner, are other marks on Trayvon’s body, “signs of a struggle … signs of bruising.”
If Zimmerman is telling the truth and Trayvon had him pinned to the ground and was beating him, the teenager’s body should have cuts or bruises consistent with that, she said.
The funeral director who prepared Trayvon’s body, Richard Kurtz, told the Orlando Sentinel he saw no such signs of a fight.
“There’s only two people who truly know,” said Pollack.
“Unfortunately, one of them is not able to testify.”
Editor’s note: Portions of this article were extracted from the Orlando Sentinel and MSNBC.