Photos and VideosMore Photos and Videos
George Zimmerman is getting a second attorney on his legal team: Orlando defense lawyer Don West.
Mark O’Mara has added West, a former federal public defender, as co-counsel in the Zimmerman case.
Zimmerman, 28, a neighborhood watch volunteer, shot Trayvon Martin, 17, of Miami Gardens after a confrontation Feb. 26 in a gated community in Sanford. Zimmerman has claimed self-defense and said he only fired because the unarmed teenager attacked him. He has pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder.
West told the Orlando Sentinel that he left his job in the federal public defender’s office Thursday to join O’Mara in the defense of Zimmerman. The move came together after he and his longtime friend O’Mara had dinner recently.
West said he was excited about taking on the challenge.
West, who specializes in murder defenses, has handled numerous high-profile criminal cases in the Orlando area in the past two decades, including when he helped get Joseph “Crazy Joe” Spaziano off death row in 1998, the Sentinel reported.
West told the paper he expects to be in court Friday with O’Mara for a hearing on whether evidence should be released publicly before the trial begins.