• BREAKING NEWS ABC shows live and on-demand -- Download the WATCH ABC app!

George Zimmerman may face more legal troubles in Trayvon Martin death

July 15, 2013 12:00:00 AM PDT
Now that George Zimmerman has been acquitted, he is free to go anywhere he wants to. But his legal troubles may not be over, and Zimmerman may file lawsuits of his own.

The family of Trayvon Martin is expected to file a civil suit against Zimmerman.

An all-women jury acquitted Zimmerman late Saturday night in the death of 17-year-old Martin. Immediately, the NAACP and the ACLU began pushing the government to pursue a federal civil rights case against Zimmerman. There was such instant online support for that petition that the site temporarily crashed.

Late Monday night, Sharlene Martin of Martin Literary Management LLC told KABC in a statement that Juror B37, who announced an intent to pursue a book deal, would no longer do so. Through her agent, B37 said, "I have realized that the best direction for me to go is away from writing any sort of book and return instead to my life as it was before."

Across the country, thousands have taken to the streets, while millions sounded off online. At its peak, 48,000 Tweets per minute were sent about the verdict.

Zimmerman, a free man now, has gone into hiding, once again fearing for his safety. He is legally allowed to carry a gun, something his lawyers say he will need more than before.

"He's been scared for 16 months, and with anger like this, I think he has good reason to be worried," Defense attorney Mark O'Mara said.

The prosecution sat down with ABC News, their only interview since the verdict, saying they don't feel Zimmerman should carry a weapon despite his right to, and suggested his not taking the stand was cowardly.

"I prayed that he would have the courage to take the stand," said Florida prosecutor Bernie de la Rionda. "But as we all know he has the right not to ... The proof is in the pudding. Did he take the stand?"

O'Mara said he believed Zimmerman should not have been charged in the first place.

"I think they charged him for reasons having nothing to do with the facts of the case because the Sanford Police Department decided not to charge him," O'Mara said.

In an unexpected move, defense attorneys say Zimmerman may file lawsuits himself.

"We had a good investigation done by law enforcement. We had a lot of political and social pressures put on this case that normally were not, and should not be put on the case, and there may be some compensation for something like that," O'Mara said.

The Justice Department has been conducting its own investigation into whether evidence suggests the shooting was a federal hate crime. After the verdict, the department said it was still evaluating the evidence.

In his first comments since the acquittal, Attorney General Eric Holder said the killing was a "tragic, unnecessary shooting," and that Martin's parents suffered a pain that no parent should have to endure.

"I want to assure you that the department will continue to act in a manner that is consistent with the facts and the law," Holder said.

While the identities of all six jurors remain sealed, the public may soon learn what happened during deliberations. One of the jurors has signed a deal to write a book about the trial.

ABC News and the Associated Press contributed to this report.


Load Comments