George Zimmerman, his wife and his attorney are being sued by the Associated Investigative Services security company for approximately $27,000 in unpaid bodyguard fees. AIS alleges in a recently filed civil complaint that ever since an independent trustee took over the administration of Zimmerman’s defense fund, payment for its contracted security services has ceased.
The company asserts that Zimmerman’s attorney Mark O’Mara hired AIG on June 26. Subsequent to that date, the firm claims it has provided nearly constant watch over the defendant, who is facing second degree murder charges for killing Trayvon Martin, an unarmed black teen, on February 26 in Sanford, Florida. After claiming he shot in self-defense and citing Florida’s controversial Stand Your Ground law, which empowers individuals to advance against attackers if under lethal threat, Zimmerman was not immediately arrested.
These circumstances sparked a national controversy over the perception that Zimmerman’s acts were racially motivated. Resulting threats made against Zimmerman and his family may have made a constant security detail seem necessary.
O’Mara has stated in response to the allegations of AIS that the firm has been paid $40,000, and that a different company is now providing Zimmerman’s security for $700 per week. AIS had been charging Zimmerman $7,000 for the same timeframe. It claims his attorney broke Zimmerman’s contract with the firm, because the defendant’s legal defense fund is running low.
AIS is suing for breach of contract in addition to unpaid fees.
Last month, Zimmerman announced through O’Mara that he would be revamping his online fundraising efforts due to a slow-down in donations. It is unclear whether the fundraising rate has increased since these changes were implemented. Total giving to Zimmerman’s legal defense is estimated to be $340,000.
Follow Alexis Garrett Stodghill on Twitter at @lexisb.