Crime

Who is New George Zimmerman Lawyer Mark O'Mara?

| by Mark Berman Opposing Views

When George Zimmerman made his first court appearance Thursday since being charged with murder for killing Trayvon Martin, he was standing alongside his new lawyer Mark O'Mara. So who is Mark O'Mara?

USA Today describes him as a "tall, reed-like man with a long face and red hair." His own website is less colorful, saying O'Mara has been practicing law for 28 years, first as a prosecutor then as a defense attorney.

He has tried several high-profile cases in Florida and was a legal analyst for an Orlando TV station during the Casey Anthony trial.

Asked why he took the Zimmerman case, O'Mara said, "It's what I do. Mr. Zimmerman needs a very good and focused defense and we're going to build him one... I've been doing it a long time. I think I'm pretty good at it."

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This judge looked an inmate square in the eyes and did something that left the entire courtroom in tears:

Even his former opponents agree with O'Mara's assessment of himself.

"He's got a low-key, kind of soft-spoken demeanor and presence, which can be extremely effective in the courtroom," said Wayne Wooten, an assistant state attorney in Orlando who went up against O'Mara in 2004. "No one should mistake that for a lack of understanding what is happening around him in the courtroom. He's very intelligent, very thorough and in my mind very strategic in how he evaluates a case."

Here is O'Mara addressing the media Thursday: