Legal experts say that George Zimmerman’s homeowners association could eventually owe millions for “enabling” the killing of Trayvon Martin.
Documents obtained by The Associated Press showed that The Retreat at Twin Lakes officially listed Zimmerman as the neighborhood watch “captain” in their newsletter, indicating that they condoned the role he took on in the neighborhood.
The newsletter advised residents to first call the Sanford police then “please contact our Captain, George Zimmerman … so he can be aware and help address the issue with other residents.”
Experts say that even if Zimmerman uses Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” law as a defense and is acquitted in the killing of the unarmed teen, the parents could still move forward with a lawsuit against the homeowners associations. Insurance policies and other assets make the association a “more lucrative target than Zimmerman,” according to the AP.
“It’s almost like if you give your son the keys to a brand new Corvette when he turns 16″ and then is involved in an accident, South Florida attorney Roberto Blanch explained. “You may be seen as enabling the occurrence or the loss.”
Florida real estate attorney Justin Clark agreed that The Retreat at Twin Lakes “is stuck” if they are sued.
“So, if you’re going to send out a newsletter saying, `Hey, he is the captain. Whatever he says goes,’ You have now basically rented a free police officer for your neighborhood,” Clark told AP. “He certainly took on that role with the homeowners association, and it seems to me that they recognized that.”
On Monday, Florida State Attorney Angela Corey announced that she would reverse course and not take the case before a grand jury. After completing their investigation, Corey’s office will decide whether or not to prosecute Zimmerman.
David Edwards has served as an editor at Raw Story since 2006. His work can also be found at Crooks & Liars, and he's also been published at The BRAD BLOG. He came to Raw Story after working as a network manager for the state of North Carolina and as as engineer developing enterprise resource planning software. Follow him on Twitter at @DavidEdwards.
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