George Zimmerman (right) leaves Seminole County Jail after posting a million-dollar bond on July 6, 2012
Photograph by Roberto Gonzalez/Getty Images.
UPDATE: The prosecution entered the tape of the Fox News interview into discovery Thursday morning and could eventually admit it as evidence against Zimmerman, ABC News reports.
A legal analyst told ABC News that the content of the interview with its contradicting statements will likely haunt the Trayvon Martin shooter, who effectively "impeached himself publicly."
Some are reportedly questioning whether Zimmerman is listening to his attorney's advice. The defendant's original attorneys withdrew from the case in April when Zimmerman stopped answering their calls, emails, and texts. His current lawyer, Mark O'Hara, insists he has not lost control of the case despite negative public reactions to the Fox interview and the confusion with Walters, according to the Miama Herald.
“The client always calls the shots,” O’Mara said Thursday. “If you’re on the streets or about to be hungry and worried for the wife you love, maybe you have to make decisions along the way.’’
Zimmerman also revived his fundraising website with a personal plea to supporters for prayers and financial help.
Thursday, July 19, 3:06 PM: ABC News anchor Barbara Walters confirmed Thursday that she had flown to Florida to interview George Zimmerman the previous day—but backed out of the scheduled sit-down at the last minute when he made an unspecified demand.
The New York Post reported earlier Thursday that the ABC News veteran canceled her interview with Zimmerman when he asked that, in exchange, the network pay to put him up in a swanky hotel for a month. Walters did not confirm that detail, although she did describe the 28-year-old as "desperate for money."
Whatever it was that Zimmerman asked for, Walters said it was something she couldn't give. “It was a condition that, being a member of ABC News, I was unable to grant," she said.
Zimmerman sat down with Fox News' Sean Hannity earlier in Wednesday for another interview, a fact that Walters said she was aware of. The understanding was that the ABC interview would air only after Hannity's.
The plot thickened during Thursday's The View when Zimmerman called in to the show, only to have Walters publicly refuse his request to speak. "Mr. Zimmerman, if you could not do the interview yesterday, I don’t think we should do a quick one today," she said.
ABC News took a stand against paying or compensating for interviews last summer, TVNewser reminds us. Fox News has maintained that neither the network nor Hannity personally compensated Zimmerman in any way.
Thursday, July 19, 10:06 AM: George Zimmerman apologized to Trayvon Martin's family during an interview with Sean Hannity that aired on Fox News Wednesday night—but maintained that he acted in self-defense and that the events that led to the Florida teen's death were part of "God's plan."
"I’m not a racist and I’m not a murderer," Zimmerman said. Running through the events of the February night, he said that he was not pursuing Martin through the neighborhood, but trying to keep an eye on him to get a more accurate address for police.
The 28-year-old neighborhood watch volunteer said that when he got out of his car, Martin approached him suddenly. Zimmerman reached into his pocket to call 911 for a second time and Martin punched him in the face, breaking his nose. In the ensuing struggle, Zimmerman claims he heard the teenager say, "you’re going to die tonight."
Zimmerman offered an apology to Martin’s parents, saying, "I pray for them daily" and that he’d like to talk to them about what happened. But, he said, he didn’t want to second guess anything that happened that evening. "I feel that it was all God's plan," he said.
Responding to Zimmerman's statements in a phone interview with the Associated Press, Trayvon Martin’s father, Tracy Martin, said, "We must worship a different God. There is no way that my God wanted George Zimmerman to murder my teenage son."
For the interview, Zimmerman was flanked by his attorney, who remained silent other than to say his client wouldn't answer questions about allegations of sexual abuse made earlier this week.
Wednesday, July 18: TVNewser with the scoop: Sean Hannity has landed the first interview with George Zimmerman.
The Fox News host will devote the entire hour of his Wednesday night show to the recorded sit-down with the man accused of second-degree murder for shooting and killing Trayvon Martin earlier this year.
A network source tells the media news blog that Zimmerman will "open up about what happened the night of Trayvon Martin’s death and his experience in the aftermath of the fatal shooting." Zimmerman's attorney, Mark O'Mara, will also be featured on the show to talk about the case and his client's bail trouble.
Here's HuffPo with some context:
It's a definite coup for Hannity, though not an entirely surprising one. He spoke with Zimmerman off the record in April, when Zimmerman bucked the advice of his attorneys and got in touch with the Fox News host. Hannity refused to divulge the contents of their conversation. But he did say that he and his team had been pursuing an interview with Zimmerman for weeks in order to get "his side of the story." He also conducted a relatively sympathetic interview with Zimmerman's father.
The news of Hannity's big get comes one day after Fox News denied a report that Hannity had offered to pay Zimmerman's legal fees.