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ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — George Zimmerman‘s attorney said Tuesday that he is going to ask the state of Florida to pay for some of his client’s non-lawyer legal bills, including for experts, printing and court reporters, and that the price tag could reach $300,000.

Zimmerman was acquitted last month of all charges in the 2012 fatal shooting of Miami teenager Trayvon Martin. The decision in the nationally televised trial touched off protests across the country.

Since he was found not guilty, Zimmerman is entitled under a Florida law to recoup the defense costs, minus private attorney fees, said his lawyer Mark O’Mara. It also says that any costs already paid can be refunded with the approval of a judge, he said.

“I just think it’s patently unfair that the state by overcharging a case they could not prove at trial gets to cost either Mr. Zimmerman or me, or the donors a whole bunch of money that they’re not responsible for,” said O’Mara, who also said the defense team has totaled the expenses yet.

Zimmerman was charged with second-degree murder.

To receive trial expenses, Zimmerman’s attorneys must submit them with the Judicial Administrative Commission, which is the state’s agency that reviews them decides what expenses are reimbursable.

When Casey Anthony was acquitted of murder in the death of her daughter in 2011, the JAC paid more than $100,000 of the expenses incurred during her defense. But it also refused to pay about $12,000 of submitted costs.

The State Attorney’s Office has not received a motion on the reimbursement of costs, but if it does it will respond in court, said spokeswoman Jackelyn Barnard.

O’Mara, who normally bills at $400 per hour, said neither he nor any of his fellow attorneys have been paid. At O’Mara’s rate alone, for 40 hours per week and 16 months of work, his costs would be more than $1 million.

Though he and his fellow defense lawyers took the case pro bono, he said after all the money issues are settled, he’d like to be paid something. State statute on acquittal fees prohibits Florida from paying for privately secured counsel. So any pay for the lawyers’ services would likely come from money they are seeking to recoup from prosecutors.

In a motion, the defense claims prosecutors held back evidence before the trial, and O’Mara estimates that he and co-counsel Don West spent more than 200 hours trying to secure those documents. They want to be paid for their time. Any money awarded in that motion would go directly to the attorneys.

“That’s the only way we could get attorneys’ fees paid for by the state in any form or fashion,” O’Mara said.

He said he anticipates the hearing on the possible sanctions, which hasn’t been scheduled yet, could take up a few days, and he plans to call state attorney Angela Corey and Zimmerman prosecutors to the stand.

As for the expenses he is seeking from the JAC, O’Mara said he only anticipates that $50,000 will be authorized. For the rest, the defense has the option of suing the agency, which would then put the final decision in the hands of circuit court judge. All other costs would be Zimmerman’s responsibility. O’Mara said he isn’t sure how much Zimmerman is still raising from donations to his website, but that it has slowed since his acquittal.

“George incurred this cost, period. His donors have helped out with those costs, but to the extent that that doesn’t cover it, then he’s going to have to figure out a way to pay these people back,” O’Mara said. “Some of these experts were willing to work with us because they realized the magnetism of the case and the absurdity of the prosecution against him.”

(Photo: AP)

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7 thoughts on “Zimmerman Will Ask Fla. to Pay Some Bills

  1. Becca Helen on said:

    jancory is a spud who wants people to think he/she is a big warrior vet. Exactly the sort of phony thing a vet would never, EVAH, do. As for Zimmerman. FREEWILL, GEORGIE BOY………you and you alone made the CHOCIE to play a very dangerous game. NOW PAY FOR IT. I live in Floriduh, and will take it to the capitol steps……you aren’t getting one penny. Go ask Shellie the perjurer for some, but be sure to use your established code. PATHETIC.

    • JanCorey on said:

      Becca Helen, the facts about this case and your inability to many to follow along with the process of the Law makes many like you appear ignorant beyond all reasonable doubt, Your trollish conduct will also will be ignored at this point, to give you some time to give you a chance to look up the facts of this case that continue to evade you, and give to you a chance to research and learn to just how ignorant you really are. Hope you can learn the facts and then return here to show us what you actually learned regarding the facts of this case that continues to torment you so much BeeH.

    • JanCorey on said:

      Pitiful life? He’ll be a billionaire by the time his attorneys get done with suing those that wrongly charged him for a crime he never committed, and suing the parents of that drug-thug that attacked him. By the time the prosecutors complete their needed time in prison and after the lawsuits of the bloggers that have defamed Mr. Zimmerman, he’ll be swimming in a boatload of cash that may help him to start up some companies that will help to eliminate people like Trayvon, his parents, and to minimize the ignorance of bloggers like you by helping to mandate required verification of higher-educated for any and all bloggers before they can post and jam their own foot into their own mouth like you.

    • JanCorey on said:

      Here’s a dream for the young black folk, never attack a victim and bash his head against a cement sidewalk while being armed with a metal can of tea while being high on illegal dope or you might get shot and become dead.

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