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Zimmerman lawyer to ask Florida to pay up

Zimmerman lawyer to ask Florida to pay up

George Zimmerman, left, stands in the courtroom with defense counsel Mark O'Mara during closing arguments in his trial at the Seminole County Criminal Justice Center, in Sanford, Fla., Friday, July 12, 2013. Zimmerman is charged in the 2012 shooting death of unarmed teenager Trayvon Martin. Photo: Associated Press/Orlando Sentinel/Joe Burbank/Pool

(Reuters) – George Zimmerman, whose acquittal in the shooting death of unarmed teenager Trayvon Martin sparked protests across the United States, will ask Florida to pay up to $300,000 of his legal expenses, his attorney told the Orlando Sentinel on Monday.

Zimmerman will rely on state law that allows a defendant who has been found not guilty to be reimbursed for costs associated with a case, the paper reported.

Mark O’Mara, attorney for the 29-year-old Zimmerman, will soon prepare a motion seeking authorization of the payments and will submit that to the judge who presided over the case, the lawyer told the Orlando Sentinel on Monday evening.

O’Mara could not be reached for comment.

Zimmerman could not recoup attorney fees under the law, but he could seek costs related to the trial such as expenditures for expert witnesses and an animated video that defense attorneys showed jurors, the Orlando Sentinel reported. The costs could range between $200,000 and $300,000, the paper said.

Zimmerman, who is white and Hispanic, was found not guilty of murder and manslaughter on July 13 in Florida after a racially charged trial in the shooting of Martin, a 17-year-old African-American, in February 2012. Thousands of people demonstrated across the United States after the verdict.

Zimmerman was a volunteer neighborhood watchman in the central Florida town of Sanford, Florida, at the time of the shooting and said he acted in self-defense.

(Reporting by Alex Dobuzinskis in Los Angeles; Editing by Ken Wills)

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