SANFORD, Fla. - While the world scurries to gain insight into George Zimmerman's newest defense attorney, Local 6 has had exclusive access to Mark O'Mara and his possible defense strategy.
O'Mara is a former legal analyst for Local 6. Since the night Trayvon Martin was shot and killed by George Zimmerman, O'Mara has given Local 6 legal analysis, opinions, and information.
Before O'Mara was Zimmerman's attorney, Local 6 spoke to O'Mara about the stand your ground law, which he said in some cases, does allow some people to get away with a shooting.
"If you can present evidence or at least your own testimony, that I felt in fear in fear that he was going to commit great bodily injury or death, that is what kicks in the statutory protection that you're allowed to respond with deadly force," O'Mara said.
On March 29, Local 6 anchor Erik von Ancken sat down with O'Mara for his thoughts on the surveillance video of George Zimmerman in custody at Sanford Police Department Headquarters, taped the night of the shooting.
Long before O'Mara had any indication that he would be hired by Zimmerman, von Ancken asked, "If you're George Zimmerman's defense attorney, what do you do with this video?"
O'Mara responded, "Well, I'm glad to have it. If I was his defense attorney, any evidence that I can get from a client who eventually may be charged with a crime, give me everything, it helps me evaluate it, look at it, maybe build my defense around it."
O'Mara also said Martin's family demanding the release of information on the case is actually helpful to a defense attorney.
"If I'm the criminal defense attorney, I love the fact that the family is demanding release of information, 911 tapes, video tapes, witness statements," O'Mara said. "As the defense attorney, I get none of that until 15 days after my client goes to arraignment on those charges. These are all gifts to a criminal defense attorney."
Regarding the surveillance video of Zimmerman at the police station, von Ancken asked O'Mara what he would do with it as a defense attorney.
"Well, you help build your case around it. Maybe for a witnesses statement, I now know who the witness is, I send my own investigator out to talk to that witness, maybe get a different statement," said O'Mara. "Video tape like this, not very much, but I can then talk to my client and ask 'what was going on? I don't see sign on injury on you, were there?' Then you would tell me 'they took pictures of me, or you have my permission to talk to the paramedics,' now I know to talk to the paramedics. Now I know to ask the paramedics 'why were there no obvious signs of injury?' All of this I glean from a piece of evidence that I don't have any right to see."
O'Mara spoke Thursday as Zimmerman's attorney after his first appearance, where he said will file a motion to get a bond hearing.
"I hope to have him released on bond," said O'Mara. O'Mara also said Zimmerman doesn't have much money, and he's not aware how much money his client's website has garnered in donations.
A judge set Zimmerman's arraignment for May 29 on Thursday. He was booked into the Seminole County jail Wednesday night on second-degree murder charges.
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