George Zimmerman Wants Florida To Pay Legal Costs

George Zimmerman will ask Florida to pay up to $300,000 of his legal costs stemming from the trial that eventually acquitted him of murder in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin.

The news comes by way of The Orlando Sentinel, which explained that Zimmerman will rely on a state law, which allows a defendant who is found not guilty to be reimbursed for the costs associated with defending the case.

The paper published a statement from Zimmerman attorney Mark O’Mara, who stated on Monday that he is preparing the motion. He will submit it to Circuit Judge Debra S. Nelson to authorize the payments.

George Zimmerman was charged with second degree murder in the killing of the unarmed teenager in February 2012. Ultimately, jurors found the former neighborhood watch captain not guilty.

That means, by Florida law, that Florida must pay all Zimmerman’s legal costs, minus the fee to his lawyers. O’Mara added that his office is still tallying all of the numbers, including costs for travel, depositions, photocopies, expert witnesses, and other things.

But when all is said and done, Reuters notes that Florida can expect to foot a bill of between $200,000 and $300,000. That number is on top of the estimated $902,000 that public agencies already spent on the case, which culminated in a five-week trial.

The not guilty verdict spurred massive protests across the country from supporters of Trayvon Martin, who believed that race played a factor in the 17-year-old’s death.

Florida will likely pay George Zimmerman’s legal bill using funds from the Judicial Administrative Commission. The state agency is responsible for paying the non-lawyer legal expenses of indigent defendants. O’Mara expects the JAC to challenge several of the costs he will submit.

O’Mara also has yet to collect his lawyer fee from Zimmerman, which is somewhere in the range of $1 million. That doesn’t include what Zimmerman will owe to co-counsel Don West, or to O’Mara’s partner, Lorna Truett. It is likely the news that some of George Zimmerman’s legal costs will further frustrate those who believe the 29-year-old is guilty.