A new color photo has been released of George Zimmerman, charged with killing unarmed black teenager Trayvon Martin, depicting the suspect with a bloody nose.
The photo was released by Zimmerman's defense team, who say, the photo was taken by a police officer on Feb. 26, the night 17-year-old Martin was shot and killed near his home in Sanford, Fla.
"It's not a game changer," Zimmerman lawyer Mark O'Mara told Reuters. "Does it really show what happened that night to George? Yes."
However, Ben Crump, the Martin family attorney, said the photo adds nothing new to the case.
"Trayvon Martin was defending himself. He had every right to stand his ground to defend himself," Crump said to the news agency.
The photo was published on a website created by Zimmerman, 29, and his defense attorneys to raise legal funds. The same photo was released in black and white earlier this year on the fundraising website, which sends donors signed Thank You Cards to people who contribute to the Defense Fund.
With legal bills to pay, accused shooter George Zimmerman plans on stepping up a fundraiser to pay for his expenses with a controversial strategy—offering his signature.
Zimmerman was charged with second degree murder for the February shooting of teenager Trayvon Martin. When Sanford Police declined to arrest Zimmerman, the case prompted national media attention. The Miami Herald further states Zimmerman raised more than $200,000 following his arrest six weeks after the killing. Funds were reportedly provided from people who’ve felt civil rights lawyers and the public had unfairly judged Zimmerman.
However, he kept the money secret, which would ultimately cost him. Not only was his bailed revoked, but Zimmerman spent 30 days in jail and a judge issued a new $1 million bond. His wife was also charged with perjury.
“Records later showed that Zimmerman went through $36,000 of those initial donations in less than three weeks, paying off his personal credit cards and years of cell phone and Internet contracts in advance,” said the publication.
While the George Zimmerman Defense Fund has raised just over $140,000 since its May establishment, his team insists the balance is at its lowest and donations are still needed to support legal costs.
“Priority for the funds will be as it has always been, in this order: to pay for George's living expenses, to pay for costs associated with the defense, and then -- only if funds remain -- to pay appropriate legal fees. That has always been the priority plan, and we reassert it now,” says the site.
Zimmerman has pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder and claims the shooting was self-defense under the state’s “stand your ground law.”
A trial is set for June, but a “stand your ground hearing” could be held in April.
Contains some reporting from the Associated Press.