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Lawyer: George Zimmerman Defense Funds Nearly Gone

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George Zimmerman (left) arrives with his lead counsel, Mark O'Mara, for a hearing in Seminole circuit court.  (Joe Burbank/Orlando Sentinel) newsgatePOOL

George Zimmerman (left) arrives with his lead counsel, Mark O’Mara, for a hearing in Seminole circuit court. (Joe Burbank/Orlando Sentinel) newsgatePOOL

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Trayvon Martin

ORLANDO (CBSMiami/AP) — With less than two weeks to go before George Zimmerman goes on trial for the shooting death of unarmed Miami teen Trayvon Martin, Zimmerman’s defense fund is almost depleted, his defense attorneys said Wednesday.

Zimmerman’s attorneys posted on their website that the fund had less than $5,000 left. The fund had almost $315,000 in January.

Zimmerman is charged with second-degree murder. He is pleading not guilty, claiming self-defense.

His attorneys are calculating that Zimmerman needs another $120,000 to put on a good defense, or even another $75,000 to give him a fighting chance.

His attorneys, Mark O’Mara and Don West, said they haven’t been paid a cent and many interns are working on the case without pay. They will need the money in the coming weeks to pay experts and for transcripts of depositions, they said.

In a brief interview, O’Mara said that at this stage it’s too late for Zimmerman to be declared indigent, which would allow taxpayers to fund his defense. Zimmerman had money raised from a website when O’Mara took over the case last year and thus couldn’t be declared indigent then, O’Mara said.

“We’re surviving on the largess of others,” O’Mara said. “That said, we’re also bound to only spend what we have available to us.”

(TM and © Copyright 2013 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2013 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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