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Zimmerman To Claim Indigence

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File photo of George Zimmerman sitting in a courtroom last month. (credit: Joe Burbank/Orlando Sentinel-Pool/Getty Images)

File photo of George Zimmerman sitting in a courtroom last month. (credit: Joe Burbank/Orlando Sentinel-Pool/Getty Images)

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Trayvon Martin

SANFORD (CBSMiami/NSF) — The attorney for George Zimmerman, the shooter in the Trayvon Martin case, says his client is broke and he plans to ask a judge to declare Zimmerman indigent.

The Orlando Sentinel reported that Zimmerman and his wife Shellie can’t work, and are spending much of their money on security because they fear for their lives, according to his attorney, Mark O’Mara.

He said Zimmerman’s legal defense fund, which had collected about $250,000 is now down to about $50,000 and has $20,000 in outstanding bills.

If Zimmerman, 28, were declared indigent, taxpayers would pay his legal expenses.

Zimmerman, a neighborhood watch volunteer, is accused of second degree murder in the February shooting of Martin, an unarmed teen in Sanford, in a case that has gotten national attention.

Monday, Zimmerman’s attorney said he believes that the facts that will be argued in the case fall more under traditional self-defense.

O’Mara said looking at the case through traditional self-defense circumstances is appropriate because the facts suggest his client couldn’t retreat from a beating he was receiving from Martin.

Zimmerman’s attorneys said last week that they would use Florida’s “stand your ground” law, which allows people to use deadly force — rather than retreat — if they believe their lives are in danger.

“The facts don’t seem to support a ‘stand your ground’ defense,” O’Mara said.

Still, he said Monday that the defense team will try to get the case dismissed during a ‘stand your ground’ hearing.

“The News Service of Florida contributed to this report.”

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