George Zimmerman sues family of teenager he shot and killed

George Zimmerman.
George Zimmerman. Photo credit: Getty

A man who killed a teenager in the US still isn't happy despite being acquitted, so he's suing the victim's family as well as lawyers and prosecutors for more than NZ$152 million.

George Zimmerman fatally shot unarmed 17-year-old Trayvon Martin in 2012 as he walked home from a Florida convenience store. He was acquitted of second-hand murder and manslaughter the following year, prompting nationwide protests.

Now a new lawsuit filed by Zimmerman accuses Trayvon's family of "civil conspiracy".

Zimmerman was so incensed by the trial that he's also accusing prosecutors of "malicious prosecution".

He alleges the Martin family and lawyers used a fake witness against him.

Trayvon Martin.
Trayvon Martin. Photo credit: Getty

"I have every confidence that this unfounded and reckless lawsuit will be revealed for what it is - another failed attempt to defend the indefensible and shameless attempt to profit off the lives and grief of others," Martin family defence attorney Benjamin Crump said.

"This tale defies all logic, and it's time to close the door on these baseless imaginings," said Crump, as reported by the South Florida Sun Sentinel.

During Zimmerman's 2013 trial, prosecutors argued he profiled, pursued and confronted the black youth. Zimmerman claimed he shot Trayvon in self-defense and was found not guilty by a jury.

The lawsuit accuses Martin's parents and the family's attorney Benjamin Crump of orchestrating a campaign to force Brittany Diamond Eugene, 16, who was reportedly Martin's girlfriend, to make a recorded statement that implicated Zimmerman as the aggressor in the altercation with Martin.

Trayvon's killing sparked nationwide protests.
Trayvon's killing sparked nationwide protests. Photo credit: Getty

Eugene was on the phone with Martin moments before the altercation with Zimmerman, the suit said.

Zimmerman's defence lawyer Larry Klayman described it as "a complete travesty of justice".

Klayman told the Sun Sentinel, "People are destroyed and smeared and they have to start fighting back".

Martin's uncle, Ronald Fulton, 56, said the lawsuit was no more than a publicity stunt to promote a forthcoming documentary titled the "Trayvon Hoax" that alleges Jeantel was an impostor. 

"During the trial, most of the people they brought in were officers of Orange County, were they a hoax too?" he asked during a telephone interview.


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