George Zimmerman's lawyers have confirmed that the hastily constructed website at therealgeorgezimmmerman.com does in fact belong to the real George Zimmerman. The website, which was launched yesterday, contains an abbreviated statement from the man at the center of the Trayvon Martin shooting case and includes a PayPal link for anyone wishing to contribute to his legal defense fund and living expenses. The bare bones pages contain no evidence that it actually is Zimmerman or that any money given would actually go to him, but both Fox News and NBC News say that his lawyers have verified that it is him.
In the statement Zimmerman writes, "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 adds that there are other sites claiming to collect money on his behalf, but that he has received no funds from anyone else.
The rest of the site contains an almost comically bad layout — the only images are an American flag and some pro-Zimmerman graffiti — and is littered with quotes from famous thinkers like Edmund Burke and Thomas Paine. Links labeled "The Facts" and "My Race" don't contain any actual facts about Zimmerman's story or race, as he says he cannot discuss the case while the police investigation continues. The site is so poorly made that it almost confirms that it is the work of a man who has gone into hiding and truly has no other resources at his disposal.
As for that investigation, the special prosecutor assigned to the case by the state of Florida announced yesterday that there will be no grand jury hearing and that she alone will make the decision on whether to file charges. While not an usual move, it's certainly an interesting one as the fate of the entire story will now rest with State Attorney Angela B. Corey. She will be the only one left to face the wrath from whichever side feels wronged by her eventual decision. It also signals that a charge of first-degree murder is not a possibility, as that can only be handed out by a grand jury.
Corey has a reputation for being an aggressive crime fighter, perhaps too aggressive for some, particularly when it comes to juveniles. She has been heavily criticized by some for her decision last year to try a 12-year-old boy with a history of abuse as an adult for murdering his two-year-old half brother. That case is still ongoing.
One defense attorney tells The New York Times that Corey's decision is "courageous" as she could have hid behind an anonymous grand jury, but that might have been seen by some as a "cop out."