The Lookout
  • Update [6:27pm ET]: This story will be updated as new events unfold

    • Zimmerman's attorneys announced they have "lost contact" with Zimmerman and are withdrawing as counsel
    • Attorneys say they still believe former client is innocent and acted in self-defense
    • Engage in heated discussion with the press, say Zimmerman is "victim" of press attacks

    In a highly contentious press conference, attorneys Craig Sonner and Hal Uhrig announced they have withdrawn as counsel for George Zimmerman, who remains under intense scrutiny for the killing of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin.

    "It's no so much that we are resigning. It's that we cannot continue to represent him until he comes forward," said attorney Craig Sonner.

    Sonner and Uhrig say they have been unable to contact Zimmerman since Sunday, when he stopped returning their phone calls.

    "He's not returning my messages not returning my texts not returning my emails. He won't even give me a collect call," Sonner said.

    However, both attorneys said they would be willing to resume their representation of Zimmerman if he contacts them directly.

    "He's got to reach out to us," added co-counsel Hal Uhrig.

    The press conference than took an unusual twist, with Uhrig essentially trying the case before the gathered members of the press. Both attorneys stressed that they continue to believe Zimmerman acted in self-defense, while Uhrig criticized both the press and Martin himself.

    Going after the press directly, Uhrig said, "If you don't believe this has been crouched in racial terms, you're not watching the same media, the same TV, reading the same blogs." In an unfortunate choice of words, Uhrig added,  "I'm taking a shot at the press when I say this."

    Uhrig then directed criticism at the now-deceased Martin, alleging that his own actions were to blame for Zimmerman shooting him.

    "Whoever decided to turn it from a war of words into a war of fists does so at their own peril," Uhrig said. "We frankly believe the correct decision will be to not charge him [Zimmerman]," Uhrig said.

    "The first person that swung, as far as we can tell, was Trayvon Martin," Uhrig said. "The crime was battery against George Zimmerman."

    "People are saying, how can you shoot an unarmed man? You know what, an unarmed man can kill you if he keeps doing what he's doing," Uhrig said. "I don't care what one investigator thought. They're often wrong."

    The attorneys say they know of Zimmerman's location and have access to his personal phone number. "We've been able to handle the case by phone up this point," Sonner said. "But there were face-t0-face meeting scheduled."

    Read More »from George Zimmerman attorneys quit as counsel
  • A troll doll. (Eraphernalia/Flickr)Members of the Arizona House and Senate will review a recently passed anti-cyberstalking bill after critics raised concerns that it's so broad it could authorize arrests for online "trolls" who write mean comments on social media and news sites.

    State Rep. Chad Campbell, a co-sponsor of the bill, told Yahoo News that lawmakers are trying "to address the constitutional concerns" raised by First Amendment advocates and are looking at making some changes. "This bill was only intended to go after people who are engaging in digital stalking, nothing more. If it can't be fixed to address the constitutional concerns then I will be voting no on it," he wrote in an email.

    In March, Arizona politicians overwhelmingly voted to update an old statute that prohibited harassment and stalking by telephone to also include Internet communications, in an effort to combat cyberbullying. The new statute says it's illegal for anyone to use profane or lewd language on an electronic device with the intent to "terrify, intimidate, threaten, harass, annoy or offend." The statute also makes it a crime for someone to infringe upon the "peace, quiet or right of privacy of any person" by "repeated anonymous electronic or digital communications."

    Read More »from Arizona lawmakers to review cyberbullying bill over free speech concerns
  • Zimmerman in police custody. (Sanford Police Dept.)

    Florida state attorney Angela Corey, the special prosecutor appointed to investigate the shooting death of Trayvon Martin, said on Monday that the case will not go to a grand jury.

    The decision does not rule out the possibility that George Zimmerman, Martin's shooter, could be arrested.

    The grand jury had been set to meet Tuesday in Sanford, Fla., where the Feb. 26 shooting occurred.

    "From the moment she was assigned, Ms. Corey noted she may not need a grand jury," a statement from Corey's office read.  "The decision should not be considered a factor in the final determination of the case. At this time, the investigation continues and there will be no further comment from this office."

    According to the Associated Press, Corey has "a reputation for not presenting cases before grand juries if it wasn't required." (Only first-degree murder cases require the use of grand juries in Florida, the AP noted.)

    [Related: Homeowners' association could be sued]

    The lawyer for Martin's family, Ben Crump, said in a statement that he was hopeful the announcement by the special prosecutor would be followed by the announcement of Zimmerman's arrest.

    "We had hoped she had enough evidence without the need to convene a grand jury," Crump said. "The family is trying to have patience and faith through all of this. We know we want that day to come. We want a very public trial so the evidence can come out and show people that the justice system works for everybody."

    According to Orlando's WFTV, Zimmerman could be arrested as early as this week.

    Meanwhile, Hal Uhrig, Zimmerman's attorney, called Corey's decision not to involve a grand jury "courageous on her part."

    Earlier Monday, lawyers for the neighborhood watchman said that if Zimmerman is not charged, he would speak out. Zimmerman has not spoken to the media since the shooting.

    Read More »from Trayvon Martin shooting: no grand jury for Zimmerman


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  • Former world number two Steve Stricker has back surgery

    (Reuters) - Steve Stricker, a 12-time winner on the PGA Tour, has undergone back surgery the American golfer said in a statement on Wednesday. Stricker had the procedure at a Wisconsin hospital on Tuesday after being hampered by a compressed nerve in his lower back that has caused problems in his hips and legs. "I'm very excited to get back to practising and competing in 2015 and expect to be 100 percent physically which really excites me.” said Stricker said in a statement. The 47-year-old does not have a specific target date for a return to competition. ...

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