By Becky Bratu, msnbc.comGeorge Zimmerman’s attorney said Monday that his client’s apology to the family of Trayvon Martin was ill-timed given the family’s previous statements, and he’s sorry if they felt it was insincere.
During his bond hearing last week, Zimmerman addressed Martin’s family directly, saying he was sorry for the loss of their son. Speaking on “CBS This Morning” Monday, attorney Mark O’Mara said he didn’t realize the family would feel the apology came at the wrong time.
“Had I known or been told that that wasn't the time, it wouldn't have happened. So, I apologize for that,” O’Mara said.
Before the hearing, Zimmerman’s camp had reached out to the family to see if he could apologize privately. But Martin’s parents rejected that invitation during a press conference.
“He had a Web page — never apologized there. Had the voicemails we’ve heard — never apologized then,” the family’s attorney, Benjamin Crump, said at a news conference. “So, we feel that you all can conclude for yourselves what motivations there are.”
O’Mara said his client wouldn’t have apologized at the hearing had he seen the press conference.
“My concern is, I didn’t realize that the way that they had responded to me was through a press conference, where they said it was too late or not an appropriate time,” he said.
George Zimmerman released on bail in Trayvon Martin shooting case
At the bond hearing Friday, Zimmerman took the stand and addressed Martin’s parents, saying, “I wanted to say I am sorry for the loss of your son,” adding he didn’t know how old Trayvon was or whether he was armed when he shot him.
O’Mara said the purpose of the apology was to reach out to the family.
Following the hearing, the Martin family's attorney characterized Zimmerman's apology as "insincere."
"The apology was somewhat of a surprise because we had told them this was not the appropriate time, but they just disregarded that, and he went and pandered to the court and the media and gave a very insincere apology," Crump told the media.
Zimmerman was released early on Monday from a Florida county jail on $150,000 bail while awaiting trial for second-degree murder in the shooting death of unarmed teen Martin. One of the conditions imposed for his bail is that he have no contact with Martin’s family.
O’Mara said Monday he still fears for his client’s safety, even though he hasn’t received any serious threats recently.
“We have not had any active threats recently,” he said, adding that he is keeping in touch with law enforcement officials.
Speaking about the recently released image showing Zimmerman’s bloodied head, O’Mara said it is “very compelling to support that there was an altercation,” but he is, for now, unsure where it’ll fit in his client’s defense.
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