George Zimmerman has abandoned the website he set up just a few weeks ago to raise money for his defense in the killing of unarmed Florida teenager Trayvon Martin.The site appeared in early April at about the same time he dropped his original lawyers and began talking to Fox News host Sean Hannity.
Since then, Zimmerman was arrested and charged with second-degree murder. He spent several days in jail until he was granted bail last week.
Now on the orders of his new lawyer, according to the Los Angeles Times, the website has been shut down. Originally called “The Real George Zimmerman,” all that appears now is a message: “Sorry! This site is not currently available.”
A skeleton of the site can still be seen through a Google cache. On it, Zimmerman wrote he was using the site to make sure he could speak directly to his supporters.
“As a result of the incident and subsequent media coverage, I have been forced to leave my home, my school, my employer, my family and, ultimately, my entire life,” he wrote. “This website’s sole purpose is to ensure my supporters they are receiving my full attention without any intermediaries.”
Zimmerman has been the focus of international attention since the killing of Martin on Feb. 26 in Sanford, Fla.
Zimmerman, 28, was a neighborhood watchman and Martin, 17, was walking back from a convenience store to the home where he was staying that night. Prosecutors say Zimmerman, who is Hispanic, profiled the black teenager and confronted him before killing him. Zimmerman says he was attacked by the teenager and forced to shoot him to save his own life.
It’s unclear how much money was donated to Zimmerman’s defense through the site. At his bond hearing last week, two of his relatives testified they didn’t have any control of the site and didn’t know how much was in Zimmerman’s defense fund.
The last update on the site was dated April 20, the same day he was granted bond.
“GZ hopes to be able to update the site in the next day or two, God willing,” it said. “He sends his thanks for your thoughts and support.”
Nick Martin is an associate editor at TPM in New York City. He came to the site in 2011 as a reporter for TPMMuckraker. Previously, he worked in Arizona, first as a staff reporter for a local newspaper and later as a freelance journalist. He also ran the news blog Heat City. Contact him at email@example.com