Zimmerman's lawyer Hal Uhrig, a former Gainesville, Florida police officer who recently joined Zimmerman's defense team, hinted on CBS This Morning that his client had suffered shaken baby syndrome (SBS) during his altercation with Martin.
"We're familiar with the shaken baby syndrome," Uhrig said, CBS News reported. "You shake a baby, the brain shakes around inside the skull. You can die when someone's pounding your head into the ground."
Zimmerman, a neighborhood watch volunteer in Sanford, Florida who claims he killed Martin in self-defense, has yet to be arrested for the shooting.
Uhrig did not elaborate on the injuries Zimmerman actually suffered, which have been disputed in the subsequent investigations of the case, Reuters reported. However, one of the characteristic injuries associated with SBS is internal bleeding in the brain, which often has no visible external signs.
"When someone is pounding your head on the ground, and you’ve already had your nose broken, you could be in reasonable fear for great bodily harm – which is what the Florida statute calls for – and if you think you’re about to lose your life or be seriously injured like that, you’re absolutely entitled to take the necessary action to stop it,” Uhrig said, according to CBS.
If Zimmerman's case goes to trial, Unrig said he and his fellow defense attorney would defend Zimmerman under Florida's 2005 Stand Your Ground statute, which allows the use of lethal force if someone feels their life is in danger.