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Update [5:25pm ET]: This story will be updated as new events unfold
Zimmerman’s attorneys announced they have stepped down and are no longer representing him
Say they have “lost contact” with Zimmerman and are withdrawing as counsel
Attorneys say they still believe former client is innocent and acted in self-defense
Say if there are no charges filed, evidence should be made public
“It’s no so much that we are resigning. It’s that we cannot continue to represent him until he comes forward,” said attorney Craig Sonner.
“He’s got to reach out to us,” added co-counsel Hal Uhrig.
Zimmerman’s former attorneys say their client has not returned their phone calls since Sunday.
“He’s not returning my message not returning my texts not returning my emails. He wont’ even give me a collect call,” Sonner said.
Despite stepping away from Zimmerman as a client, both attorneys say they continue to believe he acted in self-defense. “We frankly believe the correct decision will be to not charge him,” Uhrig said.
“Whoever decided to turn it from a war of words into a war of fists does so at their own peril,” Uhrig said.
“It would have not been unlawful or even improper for him to follow. You can even follow me home if you want to,” Uhrig said.
“The first person that swung, as far as we can tell, was Treyvon Martin … The crime was battery against George Zimmerman.”
Uhrig has been engaging in an emotional back-and-forth with the press. In arguing why he believes Zimmerman was justified in using lethal force against Treyvon Martin, he said, “People are saying, how can you shoot an unarmed man? You know what, an unarmed man can kill you if he keeps doing what he’s doing,” Uhrig said. “I don’t care what one investigator thought. They’re often wrong.”
Going after the press directly, Uhrig said, “If you don’t believe this has been crouched in racial terms, you’re not watching the same media, the same TV, reading the same blogs … I’m taking a shot at the press when I say this.”
The attorneys say they know of Zimmerman’s location and have his personal phone number but have been unable to reach him directly for 48 hours. “George can’t go out and buy a Diet Coke. There’s a bounty on his head,” Uhrig said.
“We’ve been able to handle the case by phone up this point,” Sonner said. “But there were face-t0-face meeting scheduled.