The Orlando Sentinel reports that Mark O’Mara is preparing a motion for the court to order the State of Florida to pay $200,000 to $300,000 of George Zimmerman’s legal expenses.
O’Mara bases his motion on Florida Statute 939.06, which provides;
“(1) A defendant in a criminal prosecution who is acquitted or discharged is not liable for any costs or fees of the court or any ministerial office, or for any charge of subsistence while detained in custody. If the defendant has paid any taxable costs, or fees required under s. 27.52(1)(b), in the case, the clerk or judge shall give him or her a certificate of the payment of such costs, with the items thereof, which, when audited and approved according to law, shall be refunded to the defendant.”
27.52(1)(b) in which the aforementioned statute refers, is the Determination of indigent status. That applies to defendants who have paid the $50 application fee to the clerk for court-appointed counsel.
O’Mara is seeking payment for expert fees. Are those “costs or fees of the court” or simply costs of the defense? O’Mara is also looking for payment for the video in which Judge Nelson ruled could not be entered into evidence at trial.
This raises an additional question also, because whatever money Zimmerman paid for his defense was donated to him for that purpose. O’Mara failed to apply with the court to find George Zimmerman indigent.
This looks like a desperate move by Mark O’Mara to get money in either his hands, or Zimmerman’s hands. As Robert Zimmerman Sr. told Barbara Walters, Zimmerman receives a monthly amount from the defense fund for his living expenses, but that will soon run out.
If O’Mara should indeed file such a motion, let us hope that the State files a challenge.
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