Something to celebrate? Zimmerman’s lawyers round off media blitz with dinner at top New York restaurant the day before Trayvon’s parents go on air to hit back
- Mark O’Mara and Don West were spotted lunching at an exclusive New York restaurant on Wednesday
- They’ve spent the past few days talking to the media about their client’s acquittal
- Trayvon Martin’s parents face the media for the first time since the not guilty verdict on Thursday
- They’re scheduled to speak to NBC’s ‘Today’ show and CNN’s Anderson Cooper
George Zimmerman’s lawyers were spotted dining at one of New York’s most expensive restaurants on Wednesday, just days after securing a controversial not guilty verdict for their client.
In the run-up to the recent court case the defense attorneys Mark O’Mara and Don West regularly asked the public for donations towards Zimmerman’s legal costs but money certainly wasn’t an issue as they enjoyed lunch at Nello.
The exclusive Upper East Side joint is well known for being ‘absurdly expensive’ and is typically a hangout for celebrities – such as Jay Z – and wannabe socialites.
The party was spotted drinking champagne before sitting down to lunch at the Italian restaurant.
Joining them for their celebratory lunch was criminal lawyer and CNN analysis Mark Geragos, who has been a regular fixture on the channel throughout the case and was highly complementary of their work.
Trayvon Martin’s parents begin their own media blitz on Thursday, starting on NBC’s ‘Today’ when they will give their first interview since George Zimmerman’s acquittal.
Tracy Martin and Sybrina Fulton, who were not in the Florida courtroom when Saturday night’s verdict was read out, but both tweets the next day.
‘Lord during my darkest hour I lean on you. You are all that I have. At the end of the day, GOD is still in control. Thank you all for your prayers and support. I will love you forever Trayvon!!! In the name of Jesus!!!,’ tweeted Fulton on Sunday.
Tracy Martin tweeted: ‘Even though I am broken hearted my faith is unshattered I WILL ALWAYS LOVE MY BABY TRAY.’
Also on Thursday the pair will talk to CNN’s Anderson Cooper at 8 p.m.
They will discuss ‘the verdict, their thoughts about the deliberation process revealed by Juror B-37 and how they hope their son will be remembered,’ said a CNN spokesperson.
It is also anticipated that they will be asked if they plan to pursue a civil suit against Zimmerman and about their reaction to rallies planned in 100 cities this weekend to honor their son.
Meanwhile on the West Coast Wednesday, a group called ‘Justice for Trayvon Martin-Los Angeles’ staged a protest against Zimmerman’s acquittal, according to The Beverly Hills Courier.
Several hundred demonstrators descend on Beverly Hills, marching down Wiltshire Boulevard and up to the swanky shopping destination of Rodeo Drive holding signs and chanting slogans demanding justice for the slain teenager.
The rally, which kicked off at around 5pm local time at La Cienega Park, has been described as largely peaceful, with officers from the Beverly Hills Police Department, sheriff’s deputies and members of the LAPD on hand to maintain public safety and clear the way for the marchers.
The outspoken juror who tried to get a book deal out of her experience says she wants her ‘normal life’ back after her two-part interview with Cooper aired earlier this week.
THE WOMEN BEHIND THE DECISION
THE ONE WHO SPOKE OUT
B-37 is a white woman who is married to an attorney and has two adult children. She said she and her husband used to have concealed weapons permits.
THE ONES WHO STEPPED AWAY
B-51 is retired, unmarried and doesn’t have kids. She has lived in Seminole County for nine years working in real estate.
B-76 is a white woman who has lived in central Florida for 18 years. She manages rental properties with her husband of 30 years. During jury selection, she said she had been the victim of a nonviolent crime. ‘Everyone deserves a fair trial,’ she said.
E-6 is a white woman who is married and has two children. She has worked in financial services and has lived in Seminole County for two years. During jury selection, she said she didn’t know the facts of the case well.
E-40 is a white woman who works as a safety officer and recently moved to Seminole County from Iowa. During jury selection, she said she had been the victim of a nonviolent crime.
THE ONE REMAINING
B-29 recently moved to central Florida from Chicago. She enjoys watching the ‘Real Housewives’ on television and hadn’t paid much attention to the shooting. A prosecutor described her as ‘black or Hispanic’ during jury selection.
‘No other family should be forced to endure what the Martin family has endured,’ the juror said in a statement to CNN.
‘My prayers are with Travon’s parents for their loss, as they have always been. I now wish for me and my family to recover from being selected for this jury and return to a normal life.’
Public outrage ensued as news emerged this week that Juror B37 was considering a book deal based on her trial experience. An interview that she gave to Anderson Cooper also caused a stir.
She addressed the deal in her statement, saying, ‘As for the alleged “book deal,” there is not one at this time.
‘There was an agreement with a literary agent to explore the concept of a book which discussed the impact of sequestration on my perceptions of this serious case, while being compared to the perceptions of an attorney who was closely following the trial from outside the “bubble,”‘ she added. ‘The relationship with the agent ceased the moment I realized what had been occurring in the world during the weeks of my sequestration.’
Juror B37 made the statements after four other jurors released a statement distancing themselves from her.
‘The opinions of Juror B37, expressed on the Anderson Cooper show were her own, and not in any way representative of the jurors listed below,’ they said in the statement released Tuesday night.
In an effort to maintain their privacy, the four women identified themselves only as B51, B76, E6 and E40. One juror – B29- did not sign the document.
‘Serving on this jury has been a highly emotional and physically draining experience for each of us,’ the statement read.
Cleared: The juror said that she felt that Zimmerman went above the bounds of what he should have done but ‘his heart was in the right place’
‘The death of a teenager weighed heavily on our hearts but in the end we did what the law required us to do.’
Even though they backed away from juror B37’s claims, all six of the women had to agree on the not guilty verdict before it was announced on Saturday night.
One of her most controversial claims in the Anderson Cooper interview was that Martin ‘played a huge role in his death’.
‘When George confronted him he could have walked away and gone home,’ the woman, identified only as Juror B37, said in the second portion of her post-trial interview.
While she was apologetic to the teenager’s family, she seemed more sympathetic to Zimmerman’s position in the midst of the fight, as opposed to Martin’s own self defense.
‘I have no doubt that George feared for his life,’ she said to CNN’s Anderson Cooper.
‘I’m 101% that he should have done what he did except for the things that he did before,’ she said, referencing Zimmerman’s decision to follow the teenager in his car and, fatefully, get out of the car and confront him.
‘When the end came to the end, he was justified in shooting Trayvon Martin.
While Zimmerman himself never took the stand in his own defense, video recordings of him explaining the situation to police after the fatal shooting were submitted, effectively giving him the chance to tell his side without leaving himself open to a cross examination.
That was no matter for the juror: I’m sure there were some fabrications, enhancements, but I think pretty much it happened how he said it happened.’
Initially this unidentified female juror was planning on writing a book about her experience on the trial- and even had a literary agent lined up early Monday afternoon- but after the first portion of her interview was aired that evening she and the agent decided not to follow up.
The second portion of B37’s interview was aired on Tuesday, and she went into more detail about how two specific tact used by the prosecution may have influenced the outcome.
Throughout her interview with Cooper, the woman regularly referred to the neighborhood watchman as George, and though she did call the 17-year-old Trayvon, she admitted that she felt more personally connected to Zimmerman as opposed to Martin.
‘Trayvon wasn’t as well known to us because there wasn’t as much said about him,’ she said.
Cooper brought up the fact that the two legal teams took very different visual approaches when making their closing arguments, with the defense holding up a concrete block like a portion of the sidewalk to show what they contend Martin used to attack. On the opposite end, the prosecution held up the Arizona Iced Tea bottle and a bag of Skittles, saying that was the only thing he was armed with.
‘The Skittles and the Arizona can were ridiculous to even compare it to,’ she said.
Hard hitting: By contrast, defense attorney Mark O’Mara held up a piece of the concrete sidewalk that he argued Martin used to bash Zimmerman’s head
‘I believe he hit his head on the concrete, I believe he was trying to slam it…it was definitely enough to make you fear
‘I hope (Zimmerman’s) family can live a normal life after a while. I don’t know how he’s ever going to do that.’
Yesterday it was revealed that the first vote that the six-woman jury took behind closed doors came as a draw, with three wanting to acquit, one ready to charge him with second degree murder and two for manslaughter.
In today’s segment, she made it clear that after hours of discussing the case and the evidence, the group had shifted to be five in favor of acquittal with one hold out.
‘I wanted to find him guilty of not using his senses…you can’t charge him with anything because he didn’t do anything unlawful,’ she said.
Juror B37 went on to sob while saying that she wanted to apologize to the Martin family for the tragedy that they had to go through, but she also had a message for George Zimmerman and his family- after it was revealed yesterday that his parents have been in hiding as well as the former neighborhood watchman and his wife.
‘I hope his family can live a normal life after a while. I don’t know how he’s ever going to do that. He’ll never forget but I hope he can,’ she said.
Her interview aired just minutes before four of the remaining five jurors put out a statement saying that they want to remain anonymous and are formally requesting privacy.
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2367933/George-Zimmermans-lawyers-round-media-blitz-dinner-NYC-restaurant.html#ixzz2ZO1O9V49
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