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George Zimmerman fired the security company he hired to protect him — the company that’s now suing him — because of mysteriously high billing … this according to Zimmerman’s lawyer.
As we previously reported … Associated Investigative Services filed a lawsuit against Zimmerman … alleging he still owes $27,027 for its services.
However, Zimmerman’s attorney tells TMZ his client felt “the billing got out of hand quickly. We trusted them to be efficient with their work and they weren’t.” He claims Zimmerman dropped the security team because of concerns about the bills.
The attorney adds … Zimmerman’s supporters were paying the tab — through the George Zimmerman Legal Defense Fund — and he says, “I don’t believe those who have contributed to help George should be taken advantage of by such over-billing.”
We reached out to AIS about Zimmerman’s claim — so far, no word back.
What began as a series of routine media interviews denying that George Zimmerman is a racist blew up into a Twitter rant Monday night. Zimmerman’s brother, Robert Zimmerman Jr., took to social media after midnight and vowed to make it his life’s work to have one of the Martin family attorneys disbarred. He said he would expose the lawyers and their publicist, “one by one, day by day.”
“I hope GOD grants you a long life so you live to repent for what you have done,” Robert Zimmerman Jr. wrote in a tweet directed to Natalie Jackson, one of the lawyers for the slain teen’s family.
In another, he wrote: “My Life’s work = you WILL be held accountable for your words/actions. You AINT seen NOTHIN’ yet… I will see U disbarred.”
The flap underscored the heated rhetoric still notable regarding an incident that polarized the nation, and the extent to which legal advisors in the case were blamed for it. The threats posted online also highlighted the difficulty the Zimmermans have had managing their message, and the defense team’s inability to control the client — or his family.
Defense attorney Mark O’Mara said he cringed when he saw a relative of his client acting out on the web, and said the new media tour was launched without George Zimmerman’s knowledge. His message to Robert Jr: “Be careful with my case.”
“I have been cautious with how we act in this case and now someone with the same last name who does not act with the same constraints is out there — and I have no control over him,” O’Mara said. “They felt it was time to let the world know that the Zimmerman family is a good family. That goal is a noble goal.
“But they do have to be sensitive to the environment in which we are telling this story. No matter what, George is still at risk here. And we still have a dead young man — that’s fresh on everyone’s mind. That frustrates me.”
The family’s media campaign follows months of public relations debacles.
Last month, Zimmerman’s best friend published a book riddled with errors that offered a new accounting of how Trayvon died. It wound up on the prosecution’s evidence list.
Zimmerman’s neighbor, who did more than 100 TV interviews on Zimmerman’s behalf, was arrested on a DUI charge, and the video of his arrest was posted on the Internet. A co-worker was discredited on national television when it seemed he hardly even knew Zimmerman.
The family did very few interviews, but complained vehemently about their portrayal in the press. In July, Zimmerman’s parents, Robert and Gladys, launched a website to raise money for their life in hiding and to share details about their son, who they described as a longtime altar boy who donated blood, mentored black children and collected clothes for the homeless.
After Zimmerman’s best friend published his book that included a scene that depicted the so-called “most hated man in America” as wildly paranoid against blacks, Robert Jr. took control of the family image himself.
In an email sent to several reporters last week, Robert Jr., 31, said his family sent him to Los Angeles to do a series of local television interviews aimed at “reintroducing the Zimmerman family.” He stressed that he was the only authorized spokesman for the family.
“For far too long, we have kept silent about our plight at the hands of those who made assertions about our family members that were false,” he wrote. “Many assertions made about my brother have now proven to be false as well.”
The family believes they were skewered by the “national media machine” that did not uncover hard facts, but instead was manipulated into destroying the Zimmermans’ lives. He made a reference to what critics have dubbed the “scheme team:” attorneys Jackson and Benjamin Crump and Orlando publicist Ryan Julison.
Conservative critics accuse the three of orchestrating a false narrative about the case for their own profit, presumably a payout from the insurance policy of the homeowner’s association where Zimmerman lived.
In the past week, Robert Jr. appeared on Geraldo Rivera’s show, Univision’s Despierta America, and several radio and TV shows out of Los Angeles. His assignment: to read a condolence letter to Trayvon’s parents and paint his brother as a married, working, college student who was attacked by Trayvon and libeled in the press.
Robert Jr. denied a request by The Miami Herald for an interview.
On Monday, he appeared on Piers Morgan Tonight with his mother, her face obscured. Gladys Zimmerman froze at probing questions and offered condolences only after she was pressed by the show’s host.
Once the show was over, Robert Jr. reacted strongly to tweets referring to comments his mother made about a 2010 case of a homeless black man beaten by a Sanford cop’s son. Her son, Gladys Zimmerman said, was the only one who helped the man.
The homeless man was represented by Jackson, the Martin family lawyer, who grew up in Sanford and has a solid Twitter following that enjoys her sarcastic remarks about the case. On Monday, she alluded to him being a “murderer” and suggested that his brother’s CNN appearance was a fundraising drive.
That’s when Robert Jr. responded with a series of tweets threatening her license. She quipped back: “Please see my Rule #1: Never argue with a fool, onlookers may not be able to tell the difference — Mark Twain.”
In an email Tuesday, Robert Jr. stood by his twitter tirade.
“I don’t want her to be able to use her position as an attorney to assassinate anyone else’s character or to ever hurt anyone else’s family,” he said.
Jackson dismissed the spat, saying she could not be sure if the person who posted the threats was really Zimmerman’s brother.
“I don’t take stuff personally from family members,” Jackson said in an interview. “I do criminal defense work and I understand how families react. I don’t think people should attack them or threaten them in any way. It’s stressful when someone you love is possibly going to jail for life.”
Zimmerman, 29, is charged with second-degree murder for the Feb. 26 shooting of Trayvon, 17, who was spending the weekend at a Central Florida townhouse complex. Zimmerman called police when he thought the teen looked suspicious, and minutes later the two were tussling on the grass.
Zimmerman says he was forced to shoot Trayvon, who attacked him. Prosecutors say Zimmerman, a former neighborhood watch volunteer, profiled the teenager and has no claim to self defense.
Attorney Crump said he preferred not to comment on the tweet directed at him by Zimmerman’s brother.
“We are trying to stay focused on holding the killer responsible for the death of Trayvon. We’re trying to keep it there,” he said. “Name-calling doesn’t get us anywhere.
The release included transcripts that showed shooter George Zimmerman was a mediocre college student
A photograph of Trayvon Martin’s dead body was mistakenly released by prosecutors Thursday — along with college transcripts that revealed that his killer was barely a C student at a Florida community college.
The grainy image of 17-year-old Martin moments after he was slain by George Zimmerman was in a packet of evidence that was accidentally released to the media.
There was also a photograph of the head wounds Zimmerman allegedly suffered during what he said was a scuffle with Martin.
But the newest revelations came from Zimmerman’s transcript from the neighborhood watchman’s days as a mediocre student at Seminole State College.
The wanna-be cop got Ds in two key criminal justice classes — Introduction to Criminal Justice and in a juvenile delinquency course.
And he got a C in a higher-level course called “Evil Minds, Violent Predators.”
Zimmerman, who was on academic probation when he was booted from the school in the wake of the shooting of Martin, did get an A in criminal litigation and a B in criminal investigation, the transcripts show.
But Zimmerman’s overall grade point average was dragged down by his abysmal math and science grades, which included a pair of Fs in two algebra classes.
Zimmerman’s high school transcript also revealed poor marks in math and science — and, more surprisingly, his Spanish grades were in the low 80s, despite the fact that Zimmerman is half-Peruvian.
Zimmerman’s records surface shortly after his defense team announced it would seek a hearing to clear the shooter under Florida’s controversial “Stand Your Ground” law.
“The primary focus of a ‘Stand Your Ground’ hearing is whether George Zimmerman reasonably believed that his use of his weapon was necessary to prevent great bodily harm to himself at the hands of Trayvon Martin,” defense attorney Mark O’Mara wrote on his website.
The law allows people to use deadly force — rather than retreat — if they have a reasonable belief they could be killed or badly harmed.
The hearings are mini-trials — except that the burden of proof is on the defense rather than the prosecution. A judge, rather than a jury, decides the outcome.
If Circuit Judge Kenneth Lester Jr. rules in Zimmerman’s favor, it would not only kayo a trial but would insulate the shooter from future lawsuits.
Zimmerman has pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder and is free on $1 million bond.
No date has been set for the hearing. Martin was killed on Feb. 26 while walking home inside a Sanford, Fla., gated community from a 7-Eleven. He was carrying an iced tea and a bag of Skittles.
Sanford police let Zimmerman go — a decision that caused a nationwide uproar, especially after 911 tapes revealed Zimmerman tailed Martin even after a police dispatcher told the neighborhood watch member to stop.
After 44 days of civil rights rallies and protests, Zimmerman was charged.
Prosecutors contend Zimmerman profiled Martin simply because he was black and wearing a hoodie.
You may not be able to see his full body but this photo shows Trayvon Martin laying on the ground. View at your own discretion we respect the family of Trayvon Martin and will remove photo if ask too contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
A vindictive mother who suspected her husband of cheating on her drowned their twins and attempted to suffocate their 4-year-old sister in their Tacony, Philadelphia home.
Stacey Smalls, 41, is charged with two counts of murder in the deaths of her 18-month-old twins, Adam and Eve, by drowning one and smothering the other.
Smalls is believed to have committed the homicides in a jealous rage after discovering her husband had cheated on her.
The murders were committed on Thursday, before Ron Smalls returned home from work as a corrections officer.
Ron Smalls dialed 911 after discovering the bodies of his babies on a bed in the front room, and his wife still alive after she slashed her wrists in a suicide attempt.
One of the notes found near the babies bodies read: “This is why I killed your kids,” — along with detailed allegations about her husband’s affair.
“She had something she felt was justification but there is no justification,” Police Commissioner Charles Ramsay said. “It’s a tragedy two young babies dead and there is no excuse for that.”
In recent days, Ron updated his Facebook page with pictures of his daughters and the caption: “Sisters, what a beautiful thing.”
But on Wednesday, a day before she went berserk, Stacey wrote under the picture: “Really, sisters what a beautiful thing. I guess it depends on which sister,” a not-so-veiled reference to Ron’s mistress.
Stacey also updated Facebook with a random photo of a car that was vandalized with spray paint to read “I hope she was worth it.”
During happier, Dopamine-fueled times, Stacey updated her Facebook page with an announcement of marriage to Ron Smalls on Dec. 17, 2010.
But on May 19, once the Dopamine ran out, Stacey updated her status to read: ‘divorced.’
More than 200 pages of photos and eyewitness accounts released by prosecutors Thursday show Zimmerman and Martin were in a loud and bloody fight in the moments leading up to the shooting and that Zimmerman appeared to be getting the worst of it, with wounds both to his face and the back of his head.
But the original lead detective in the case believed Zimmerman caused the fight by getting out of his vehicle to confront Martin, who wasn’t doing anything criminal, and then could have defused the situation by telling Martin he was just a concerned citizen and tried to talk to him. He didn’t think Zimmerman could legally invoke Florida’s “stand your ground” law and should be charged with manslaughter.
Under that law, people are given wide latitude to use deadly force rather than retreat in a fight if they believe they are in danger of being killed or seriously injured, they weren’t committing a crime themselves and are in a place they have the legal right to be. The original prosecutor in the case accepted Zimmerman’s invocation of the law after the Feb. 26 shooting but a special prosecutor rejected his claim last month and charged Zimmerman with second-degree murder. The former neighborhood watch volunteer has pleaded not guilty, has been released on bail and reportedly is in hiding.
He and his attorney will have two more chances to invoke the law. First, they will try to convince a judge during what will be a mini-trial. If the judge agrees, the charges will be dropped although prosecutors could appeal. That is likely months away. If the judge rejects the claim, Zimmerman could they try to convince the jury and win an acquittal. A trial is unlikely to start before next year. Zimmerman’s attorney, Mark O’Mara, didn’t return a phone call seeking comment Thursday from The Associated Press.
Speaking Friday on NBC’s “Today” show, O’Mara said he couldn’t talk about the individual pieces of evidence in the case. But he said that rather than talking about the “what-if’s” — as in what if Zimmerman had stayed in the car — O’Mara said “we have to deal with what happened and try to explain that.”
Joelle Moreno, a Florida International University law school professor, said the evidence now released makes it difficult to predict if a “stand your ground” defense will work. She is a member of a state senator’s task force examining the law. Read More at AP
Yvonne Hiller has been charged with murder in the deaths of two women at the Kraft Foods Baking Plant on Thursday night.
The two women have been identified as LaTonya Brown, 36 and Tanya Wilson, 47. Bryant Dalton, 39 was injured in the shooting and he is in critical condition.
It has now been revealed that Hiller was involved in an argument with three of her co-workers, which led to her suspension. When she returned to the plant with a gun she found the three in a break room, along with a fourth. She told the fourth to get out and then just started shooting.
Hiller apparently believed that for years the other co-workers had been talking behind her back and spraying her with chemicals. She had been employed at the plant for 15 years.
Original Story From Friday Morning:
Yvonne Hiller Had Just Been Suspended From Her Job at the Kraft Foods Baking Plant in Philadelphia When She Returned With a Gun and Killed Two Co-Workers
Two more were also injured in the shooting at the Kraft factory according to the Philadelphia Inquirer, who also report that workers at the plant have identified the shooter as Hiller. The two women who were killed have not been identified at this time; the third was a man who was shot in the neck and shoulder. A fourth person was injured but is not considered critical.
Hiller has now been taken into custody.
The Kraft plant, located at 12000 Roosevelt Blvd, was operational at the time, and seven employees were trapped inside a quality-control room during the shooting. They all managed to escape unharmed.
The answer to that question is yes. There is many reason why frustration sets in one is knowing that your child will never be normal, that he/she faces many difficult trails ahead. Knowing that a lot of people don’t understand your child and what you are face with day in and day out. Not able to get more help then what you have now for this epidemic. Autism is hard to deal with as a parent, I know people who have kids with disabilities and are not trouble about there kids. Well being a parent of a child with autism is troubling, reason because: your child does not speak or maybe mumbles words. Your child may not be potty train and is at age 6 or 8, your child does not know danger and there is more this is just a few. There are many times as a parent you just want to give up, but there is always that voice in the back of your mind telling you, you can do it. I am terrified about my son’s future, some people don’t even think that far with there kids. Well America I do and I am sure a lot of parents with kids with disabilities do, especially Autism . There is no place for theses kids to go if there parents are no longer able to take care of them. We as parents with a child that has autism want you all to know, be understanding. This is something serious trust me there are women taking there lives, as well as there autistic child’s life. Just typing this has me in tears, I want you to take a look at these stories just happen recently with mothers going over the edge because of autism….
Angelique Buford was not happy. Another woman had taken up with her ex-boyfriend, and they were soon to have a child. So she did what any jilted woman with limited mental facilities would do: She tried to kill the pregnant woman…
With her two children in her minivan, Buford spotted the unnamed woman at a store in Louisville. Commence with stalking. Buford followed the two-months pregnant lady home.
When the victim got out of her car, Buford began beating her with a baseball bat as her own kids screamed in the van. She belted the woman in the face and arm, then began kicking her in the stomach, saying she was going to kill the unborn baby.
And just to make matters worse, she returned to her car and opened fire. She shot at least five times at the woman and a crowd that had gathered. Fortunately, she hadn’t spent much time on the firing range, failing to hit anyone. By the time police arrived, Buford had fled the scene.
The victim was taken to a hospital where she was treated for bruises, scratches, and a bite on her thigh. But it appears both mom and baby are fine.
The same cannot be said of Buford. She’s been charged with assault and wanton endangerment. Suspiciously absent are charges of attempted murder. While it’s illegal to actually kill an unborn baby in Kentucky, there’s no statute for attempting to kill one if you’re not successful.