(SANFORD, Fla.) — George Zimmerman is worried as his murder trial draws to a close, fearing that he could spend the rest of his life in prison if found guilty or in hiding if acquitted, his lawyer said.
Zimmerman has spent the last few days huddling with family, ABC News has learned.
Zimmerman, 29, is charged with second degree murder for killing Trayvon Martin, 17, on Feb. 26, 2012. If convicted of that charge he could be sentenced to 25 years to life. If Zimmerman is convicted of a lesser charge like manslaughter, he could be sentenced to as much as 30 years.
Lead defense attorney Mark O’Mara says Zimmerman is concerned that even if he is acquitted, he would spend the rest of his life locked in the confines of his security regimen — hiding from the public and concealing his identity.
“He’s very worried about his safety, personal safety going forward,” said lead Zimmerman defense attorney Mark O’Mara. “Because those same people who portended the fear and hatred leading up to this trial probably are not going to accept an acquittal.”
If Zimmerman is found guilty he will immediately be remanded into custody and escorted into Seminole County Jail.
O’Mara says any conviction would be met with an appeal, and hinted he could decide to use a “Stand Your Ground” immunity hearing during an appeal. Zimmerman’s defense team elected not to apply Zimmerman’s right to a stand your ground hearing during the trial because the immunity hearing can only be invoked once.
If exonerated, Zimmerman will be immediately released.
Martin’s parents are undecided about whether they will be in court as the verdict is read. Sources close to his mother and father tell ABC News that the last few days have taken their toll.
Closing arguments in the trial are scheduled to begin on Thursday and it is anticipated that jurors could begin deliberating by Friday afternoon.
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