AFRICANGLOBE – A security company has filed suit against accused murderer George Zimmerman, his wife and his attorney, Mark O’Mara, accusing them of failing to pay $27,000 for protection services.
Associated Investigative Services filed suit in state circuit court in Orange County on Friday.
According to the civil complaint, O’Mara hired the company on June 26 to “provide security services and security detail for the Zimmerman family” in anticipation of his release from jail.
The company provided a detail for Zimmerman’s second bond hearing on June 29, the complaint says, and the arrangement evolved into “nearly constant” watch on Zimmerman’s family, such as escorting his father to the airport and personally guarding other members of his family.
But soon after an independent trustee took over Zimmerman’s defense fund, the payments stopped coming, AIS alleges.
According to the company, O’Mara explained that Zimmerman and the trustee were “clamping down” on the defense fund because it was “very low.” Zimmerman “does not have any funds presently available to attend to any such debt, realizing the enormity if upcoming expenses of the defense,” O’Mara told AIS, the suit says.
The lawsuit alleges breach of contract, among other claims, and requests a monetary judgment of $27,027.08.
When told about the suit, O’Mara today said, “Wow. I’m very surprised that they filed suit. We’ve paid them over $40,000.”
The company no longer provides protection to George and Shellie Zimmerman, O’Mara said, in part because it was billing them $7,000 per week at one point, an amount that he said appeared to be unwarranted.
The Zimmermans are now paying $700 a week for protection, O’Mara said.
Zimmerman in Hiding
The AIS complaint acknowledges the $40,000 paid by the defense, and also says the company warned O’Mara that the amount of security he requested was “excessive in scope.”
After the June 29 hearing, Zimmerman was freed on $1 million bond. He is currently living in hiding, awaiting trial on a second-degree murder charge in Feb. 26 the shooting death of Trayvon Martin
Prosecutors allege he profiled, pursued and killed the teen. Zimmerman says he acted in self-defense and was not immediately arrested, setting off civil rights rallies across the country.
He has been a recluse since the shooting, in part, O’Mara has said, because of death threats and a $10,000 reward offered for his capture in March by the New Black Panther Party.
For months O’Mara has said that a legal defense fund fed by Internet PayPal donations is running low. Last month, Zimmerman announced plans to ramp-up fund-raising, even offering autographed thank you cards for donors.
The legal defense fund is solvent, O’Mara said Friday, and there are no major outstanding bills.