Donations to George Zimmerman’s defense fund have slowed considerably since his attorneys forced him to shut down his old website last month and opened a new one in his name days later.
The man charged with second-degree murder in the killing of unarmed Florida teenager Trayvon Martin had managed on his own to raise more than $200,000 in just a few weeks using a crudely built website and a PayPal account.
But in late April, his new lawyer ordered him to shut down the site. That’s when Zimmerman revealed he had raised all that cash.
Days later, attorney Mark O’Mara announced he would open a new website in his client’s name to keep the donations flowing. He hired a former IRS agent to watch over the funds and promised donors that their identities would be kept confidential.
The promises haven’t seemed to convince potential donors, however. Late Wednesday, Zimmerman’s defense team said he had only been able to raise about $15,000 since the new site went live on May 3. The biggest donation was $3,000, they said, while most ranged between $25 and $100.
While that still averages more than $1,000 a day, it’s a far cry from the rate Zimmerman was hauling in on his own.
O’Mara has said the money will be used for defense costs and Zimmerman’s living expenses.
Nick Martin is an associate editor at TPM in New York City. He came to the site in 2011 as a reporter for TPMMuckraker. Previously, he worked in Arizona, first as a staff reporter for a local newspaper and later as a freelance journalist. He also ran the news blog Heat City. Contact him: nick [at] talkingpointsmemo.com