“I think they have to be prepared for a manhunt by not only members of the media but curious onlookers,” Coffey said. “The whereabouts of George Zimmerman will be one of the most intriguing curiosities of the legal world in the coming weeks.”
Post-bail security costs don’t come cheap, either, and it could be extremely difficult for Zimmerman to pay for it. His attorney is considering having him declared indigent, and his wife has no income because she is in nursing school and does not work.
In an extreme case, it cost some $200,000 a month to keep Dominique Strauss-Kahn under house arrest at a luxury Manhattan town house when he was accused of assaulting a hotel maid. Disgraced financier Bernard Madoff was protected by 24-hour-a-day armed guards and cameras recording his every move. Retired federal and high-ranking New York City police officers kept tabs on everything at his secured Upper East Side penthouse, even deliveries to the building.
Once he is situated in his new location, Zimmerman needs to never be alone so he can have someone at his side should a threat arise, and he shouldn’t associate with anybody he hasn’t known for a long time, said Slotnick. His client, Goetz, was acquitted of most charges except several firearm charges for shooting four men who he alleged tried to mug him in a case that came to symbolize vigilante justice.
Keeping a low profile is important to his safety, but Zimmerman doesn’t need to completely disappear from the public view and could benefit from some strategic public appearances, said Los Angeles attorney Thomas Mesereau Jr., whose clients have included singer Michael Jackson and actor Robert Blake.
“It is part of a process of humanizing him,” Mesereau said. “You don’t want him to go out there and act gratuitously, in an overly dramatic way. That would be a mistake. But he is a human being … and you want them to see a very low-key, respectful person who, from their point of view, does some good things with his life.”
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