Published August 27, 2013
George Zimmerman's attorney says he plans to ask the state of Florida to cover $200,000 to $300,000 of his client's legal expenses.
Mark O'Mara told the Orlando Sentinel Monday night that because Zimmerman was acquitted, state law requires Florida to pay all his legal costs, minus the fee that goes to his lawyers.
O'Mara said Monday that a motion asking Circuit Judge Debra S. Nelson to authorize the payments "is in the works."
The expenses include fees associated with expert witnesses, travel, depositions, photocopies and the 3-D video depicting Martin punching Zimmerman that defense attorneys presented during closing arguments.
The Orlando Sentinel reported that under Florida Statute 939.06, a defendant who has been acquitted is not liable for costs associated with his or her case. The money would come from the state Judicial Administrative Commission.
O'Mara told the newspaper that the commission, which pays the non-lawyer legal expenses of eligible defendant, is expected to challenge many of the costs.
The 29-year-old Zimmerman was acquitted last month of all charges including second-degree murder in the shooting of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin in Sanford, Fla., last year. His murder trial lasted five weeks.
An after-hours email sent by the Associated Press to defense attorneys was not immediately answered.
Meanwhile, NAACP President Ben Jealous said Monday his organization collected petitions with more than 1.7 million signatures calling for charges to be filed against Zimmerman for violating Martin's civil rights.
Jealous said the signatures, about a million of which came in by mobile phone and many from young people, would be turned over to the Department of Justice on Monday afternoon.
The NAACP signatures would be in addition to another 219,000 handed over to the Justice Department last week by ColorOfChange, an online civil rights group.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.