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Zimmerman's brother goes on Twitter tirade in Trayvon Martin case

By Barbara Liston

ORLANDO, Fla., Oct 10 (Reuters) - The brother of the Floridaman charged in the shooting death of teenager Trayvon Martintook to Twitter to criticize a lawyer involved with the case,which could complicate the accused murder's legal defense.

Robert Zimmerman Jr., whose brother George Zimmerman facesup to life in prison, recently appeared on several TV and radioshows complaining about a "vast mis-information campaign," aswell as highlighting an "official letter of condolence" toTrayvon Martin's family.

George Zimmerman, who is white and Hispanic, is charged withshooting and killing the unarmed, black Martin as he walkedthrough a gated community in Sanford, Florida, in February.

After Robert Zimmerman Jr. appeared Monday on CNN's PiersMorgan Tonight, an Orlando civil rights lawyer Natalie Jacksonsuggested the family was using the media for fundraising.

Jackson was one of a group of lawyers and supporters whohelped bring public pressure to bear on police and prosecutorsfor not immediately charging Zimmerman after he shot 17-year-oldMartin.

Jackson's comment prompted a twitter tirade by RobertZimmerman Jr. who wrote to Jackson: "My Life's work = you WILLbe held accountable for your words/actions. You A'INT seenNOTHIN' yet ... I will see U disbarred."

George Zimmerman has said the shooting was self-defense andjustified under Florida's "Stand Your Ground" gun law.

"We're naturally concerned about anyone associated with thecase speaking publicly, because there is always a risk thattheir comments could complicate our defense efforts,"Zimmerman's lawyer Mark O'Mara told Reuters in an emailedstatement.

O'Mara previously called "ill-timed" a book and televisionappearances in September by George Zimmerman's friend MarkOsterman. Osterman revealed details of the shooting that he saidwere drawn from conversations he had with Zimmerman and his wifewhile they stayed in his home for several weeks after thekilling.

Benjamin Crump, an attorney for the Martin family, said thetweets by Robert Zimmerman Jr. could play into the hands ofprosecutors if he is called as a witness.

Robert Zimmerman Jr. is one of several friends and familymembers who say George Zimmerman told them what happened thenight of Feb. 26 when he killed Martin. Prosecutors could usethat in court as they claim Zimmerman has not been consistentwith his version of events.

"When they go to testify your character and your credibilityis at issue so I think these (Twitter) comments could have aneffect," Crump said.

(Editing by David Adams and Lisa Shumaker)

((david.c.adams@thomsonreuters.com)(+1 305 810-2690))

Keywords: USA FLORIDA/SHOOTING