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Jacksonville Attorney Weighs In On Zimmerman's Future

2:11 PM, Apr 11, 2012   |    comments
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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Zimmerman's attorneys announced Tuesday they haven't talked to him since Sunday, and are withdrawing as his counsel.

"We've lost contact with him," Zimmerman's former attorney Craig Sonner said. "He has gone on his own. I'm not sure what he's doing or who he's talking to."

"He's behaving erratically," said Janet Johnson, a Jacksonville criminal defense attorney. "I mean, writing a letter to the state attorney appointed specially to prosecute you, that's not behavior that a person who's in touch with reality would necessarily want to pursue."

Zimmerman's former legal team made his behavior known.

"It wouldn't be ethical for me to continue to hold myself out as his attorney when I haven't spoken to him in two days," Sonner said Tuesday.

Johnson said it's not uncommon for an attorney to sever the relationship, but added the attorney has an ongoing confidentiality agreement with the client. Something, in her opinion, Zimmerman's attorneys aren't following.

"We're not allowed to air the dirty laundry," Johnson said. "We're not allowed to say, here's why I broke up with this client, because he was behaving in this manner, he might be harmful to people, he might leave the state. That's not something you should reveal."

Johnson believes Zimmerman or his family could hire another attorney, or that Zimmerman could even try to represent himself.

"If at this point his family starts to say they haven't heard from him, and certainly his lawyers are saying it, then you start to wonder is this person a flight risk? Absolutely."

She said leaving the country is still legal at this point, because no warrant has been issued, but it's something his attorneys would have advised against.

"He can leave the state but I think it's at his peril," Johnson said.

Johnson believes this change of events puts State Attorney Angela Corey on a much shorter time table, especially if it's believed Zimmerman is a flight risk; Johnson believes Corey may get a warrant imminently.

Corey is set to release new information regarding the investigation in the next 72 hours.

First Coast News

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