Amid the rush of loud outrage and vocal protest from the parents of Trayvon Martin and their supporters the silence of one character in this tragic tale has been deafening: George Zimmerman, the free man who shot Martin and alleges self-defense. His attorney, Craig Sonner, finally spoke out to Anderson Cooper last night, and had few answers but one accusation– his client has a broken nose and a laceration on his skull, and that was “an injury done by Trayvon Martin.”
Sonner noted to Cooper that his client seemed fine save for a “considerable bit of stress” natural to his situation, but admitted that “y conversations have been by telephone.” He did not know where Zimmerman was but assumed he was “still in the area” and hadn’t fled the country. He had surprisingly little to offer Cooper about the facts of the case; asked what Zimmerman had told him about what transpired the night Martin died, he said “he should have made a statement to police at the time, I believe he did,” and said he “did not discuss the details,” and they would be privileged even if he had.
Sonner also did not know whether Zimmerman had heard his own 911 tapes, but said he did not believe so and he, as his attorney, had not heard the 911 tapes, either. Despite all this, he did not believe his client was racist. “He actually mentored an African American boy,” Sonner noted, and Zimmerman’s wife mentored a young black girl. What’s more, the mother of the children, when asked, “did he make comments to you that indicate he is a racist?”, denied it.
The most interesting information Sonner gave Cooper, however, was his accusation that Martin had hurt Zimmerman during the violent exchange. While he did not know why Zimmerman found Martin suspicious, Sonner noted Zimmerman’s “nose was broken, he sustained injury to his nose and on the back of his head; he sustained a cut that was serious enough to merit stitches, but it took too long to get to the hospital.” Cooper asked how Zimmerman’s nose broke– “an injury done by Trayvon Martin.”
Sonner declines to answer a number of questions– some evoking the attorney-client privilege, others because he simply had not been made privy yet to relevant information. But his claims that his client had significant physical damage on his body from some sort of exchange with Martin will be integral to the defense, whose only exit from a conviction should someone finally arrest Zimmerman would be proof that he reasonably believed his life was in danger.
The interview via CNN below:
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