Nightly News | April 10, 2012
BRIAN WILLIAMS, anchor: Now to Sanford , Florida , where today George Zimmerman 's lawyers called a press conference to say they have no idea where their client is, so they're withdrawing as his lawyer. Then we later learned they were never really in touch with him face-to-face in the first place . The strange case of the death of Trayvon Martin got stranger today. Our coverage begins with NBC 's Kerry Sanders .
KERRY SANDERS reporting: George Zimmerman 's legal team walked to the podium and then announced they're no longer his lawyers.
Mr. CRAIG SONNER (George Zimmerman's Former Attorney): At this point we're withdrawing as counsel. If he wants us to come back as counsel he will contact us .
SANDERS: Two attorneys say they had never met their client, George Zimmerman , but they say they had an open line of communication with him via email, text and phone. But on Sunday, the two say there was inexplicable silence. And it's been like that since. And contrary to their advice, they say Zimmerman reached out to the special prosecutor , Angela Corey .
Mr. HAL UHRIG (George Zimmerman's Former Attorney): One of the things every defense attorney tells his client is don't talk to the prosecutors, don't talk to the cops. Frankly, don't talk to anybody.
SANDERS: The day they lost contact with Zimmerman , Sunday, is the same day the Internet registry shows George Zimmerman set up this website. While his lawyers say they thought he was exercising his right to remain silent , he found a way to speak out. On his welcome page Zimmerman writes in part, "I was involved in a life altering event which led me to become a subject of media coverage. I've been forced to leave my home, my school, my employer, my family and ultimately, my entire life." And there is a link to donate, funds, he says, that are only for living expenses and legal defense .
Mr. UHRIG: Our concern is that for him to do this when he's got a couple of professionals out there working as hard as we were for his benefit, to handle it this way suggests that he may not be in complete control of what's going on. We're concerned for his emotional and physical safety.
SANDERS: Trayvon Martin 's family:
Mr. TRACY MARTIN (Trayvon's Father): It takes a lot of patience dealing with this.
SANDERS: And their lawyers tell NBC News they're stunned and fear George Zimmerman could be a flight risk if the special prosecutor chooses to bring charges.
Mr. BENJAMIN CRUMP (Martin Family Attorney): Will he ever be brought to justice, if and when he is charged for killing their son? Those are some very serious questions.
SANDERS: As for George Zimmerman 's whereabouts, his former lawyers say they believe he's in hiding and no longer in the state of Florida . They say they continue to believe in him and stand at the ready because if they wanted -- if they want representation they say they're ready to represent him, again.