Attorney Hal Uhrig said Wednesday he would welcome a call from former client George Zimmerman — and defended his decision to publicly speculate on the Florida man's mental well-being.
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"It casts him in a more favorable light to let the public know he's not a bad guy, he may just be an emotionally beat-down guy by the process," Uhrig told Ann Curry on TODAY.
Uhrig was joined by Craig Sonner, another former attorney for Zimmerman, the community watch volunteer who shot and killed Trayvon Martin, for a live interview via satellite from Florida.Video: George Zimmerman dropped by legal team (on this page)
The pair announced Tuesday they were withdrawing from the case.
"As far as us crossing the line and the criticism from some other people...we've listened to some of them, and quite frankly, I've got a list of people whose opinions I value, and for the most part those that are trashing us are not on the list," Uhrig told TODAY.
Sonner and Uhrig said they had lost contact with Zimmerman on Sunday, that he has gone into hiding, and that against their advice, Zimmerman had reached out to special prosecutor Angela Corey. Corey, who is expected to announce this week whether Zimmerman will face charges in Martin's shooting death, declined to speak to him.Video: Ex-attorney: Zimmerman not a flight risk (on this page)
Zimmerman had also contacted Fox News' Sean Hannity. Hannity confirmed on air Tuesday evening he had spoken to Zimmerman about the case Monday but would not report on what was said.
Still, the attorneys told Curry Wednesday they would still welcome contact from him.
"(It's) the same message we've sent to him by phone, fax, text and e-mail through his website: Give us a call," Uhrig said. "If you've got something you'd like to talk to us about, we're here; we've been ready for you. But even if you don't want us to represent you, just call us and tell us that so we're clear on it."
Martin's family and their attorney Benjamin Crump have expressed concern over Zimmerman leaving the state of Florida, and while they believe Florida authorities know his whereabouts, they harbor doubts.
"Until there's an arrest and we see him in handcuffs, we don't assume anything," Crump told NBC News' Kerry Sanders. "Is he going to be arrested, is he ever going to be held accountable for killing Trayvon Martin? That's the question."Video: Retracing Trayvon Martin’s last night
But Sonner said Wednesday he doesn't believe Zimmerman will flee.
"I don't believe he's a flight risk," Sonner said. "I can't disclose where he is...but he's in contact (with authorities). If it becomes necessary to turn himself in I believe he will do it. I don't believe he's going to flee the country."
Uhrig added it is erroneous to say he and Sonner dropped Zimmerman as a client — insisting it's the other way around.
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"We're simply announcing that the relationship no longer exists, based on learning from the special prosecutor directly that he had contacted them," Uhrig told Curry. "When they said we won't talk to you without your lawyers, he said, 'Well, they don't really represent me now, they were just my legal advisors so I can come in and talk to you.'"Story: Lawyers: Unless he's charged, George Zimmerman will speak out
Sonner said he "can't keep coming on TV and saying I represent him" when Zimmerman has cut off contact.
"I've tried to contact him many times. The family has tried to contact him. He's not returning calls to me," he said. "He is calling other people; he's saying, "I'm going to call you back at nine o'clock,' (but) he doesn't call back at nine o'clock.
"He's not returning e-mails to me, he's not returning text messages. The only conclusion I can draw is that he doesn't want me to represent him anymore. It's my ethical duty to step down. It's a one-way street."
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