Trayvon Martin murder suspect George Zimmerman is nearly broke, his lawyer said on Monday, and plans to ask the public to pay for his defense.
"He really has to live as a hermit, unfortunately," said Mark O'Mara of his client, who is awaiting trial. "He's not doing well. He's getting by."
His legal-defense fund, which once hovered around $210,000, is down to $50,000, with $20,000 in outstanding bills and no money coming in.
George and his wife, Shellie Zimmerman, are out of work, living in hiding in Seminole County, and spending a ton deal of money on security.
"Seminole County is unquestionably the most dangerous county, most expensive county for him to be in," O'Mara told the media this week.
He intends to ask the court to declare George Zimmerman indigent, which would mean that he needs the public to pay for his legal expenses.
Zimmerman, again is free on bail, also will ask a judge to let him leave the county. "I want him safe. If he's out of state, so be it," O'Mara said.
The request to be declared indigent will be awkward, given that he was raking in money this year - and had his bail revoked for not disclosing it.Zimmerman, from his cell at the Seminole County Jail, was directing his wife to move the money from one account to another in $9,990 chunks.
Presumably, this was done to appear broke and qualify for a lower bond amount; in any case, O'Mara claimed he never knew about those funds.
In any case, Zimmerman, a Neighborhood Watch volunteer, is charged with second-degree murder for killing Trayvon Martin, an unarmed teen.
Zimmerman says he acted in self-defense, that the 17-year-old punched him and broke his nose, then got on top of him, threatening his life.
But prosecutors allege Zimmerman is guilty of racial profiling, spotting the African-American teen, suspiciously following him, then killing him.
Investigators say he missed opportunities to diffuse tension, though he has pleaded not guilty on all charges. His trial will be closely watched.
Zimmerman apologized to Trayvon Martin's parents at his first bail hearing and a second time in an interview on Fox News last month.