The attorneys for George Zimmerman, the Florida community watch volunteer who fatally shot unarmed teenager Trayvon Martin, said Tuesday they have lost touch with their client and are withdrawing from the case.
Craig Sonner and Hal Uhrig said at a news conference outside the Seminole County Courthhouse in Sanford, Fla., that they heard that Zimmerman on Tuesday had contacted a special prosecutor who will decide whether or not to press charges against him, against their advice.
They said they have not talked to Zimmerman, whose location is not known, in person in at least two days but in the past had spoken with him over the phone. “We can’t represent him unless he comes forward and asks us,” Uhrig said.
"We have a pretty good idea where he (Zimmerman) is," Uhrig said, but added that Zimmerman is not answering the phone.
The attorneys said they still believe in Zimmerman's story that he was attacked by Martin and fired in self-defense.
The attorneys also expressed concern about Zimmerman's "emotional and physical safety" and said they have reservations about a website Zimmerman set up to solicit money for help in his defense.
"Him setting up his own web site is fine," Sonner said. "I wish he would have told me.”
Zimmerman, whose father is white and his mother Hispanic, says he shot Martin, who was black, in self-defense Feb. 26 after following him in a gated community in Sanford.
Uhrig said that evidence, including a broken nose sustained by Zimmerman, confirms Zimmerman's account of what transpired the night Martin was shot.
The lack of an arrest or charges in the case has sparked protests nationwide with many claiming that Zimmerman confronted Martin because of his race. Zimmerman's supporters deny that.
Special prosecutor Angela Corey is investigating the fatal shooting in Florida. She said on Monday said she would not convene a grand jury probe. The U.S. Justice Department is also looking into the case.