In the day of social media, it just takes a keystroke to have something go viral, which is what happened to a picture of Don West and his daughters having ice cream at the end of the day during the George Zimmerman trial.
West explained the ice cream treat was a long-standing family tradition.
He admitted that it was he who took the picture because he “had the longest arm.”
His daughter posted it online several days later with a comment many construed as an observation on the trial, specifically the evidence and a witness.
West called it unfortunate and said it was done without his knowledge or approval.
He said he talked to his daughter who he described as mortified.
West went on to say that if his daughter does owe someone an apology, she will, and he has encouraged her to apologize, something that couldn’t be done during the trial.
The picture posted online was just one part of the case as it spent time in the national spotlight.
In the State vs. George Zimmerman, Zimmerman was charged with second-degree murder in the death of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin on Feb. 26, 2012.
Not unlike another high-profile cases, like the Casey Anthony trial, it was filled with emotion and controversy.
It was three months before Orlando-area defense attorney Don West was added to Zimmerman's team.
West recently shared some personal history and thoughts on the case that continue bring up raw emotion and controversy.
“I started at the public defender’s office in Seminole County in the fall of 1980. I actually had gone across the street first to ask for work at the State Attorney’s Office and they didn’t have any. So they said maybe the public defender is hiring and I literally walked across the street, met some terrific people in government, got hired, started in the fall of 1980, stayed until early 1985.”
West previously represented boy-band mogul Lou Perlman on his Ponzi scheme charges and political consultant Doug Guetzloe, who was convicted of failing to file taxes for two years.
West said he had no regrets about taking the Zimmerman case.
“I’ve loved every minute of it and hated lots of it at the same time.”
In the courtroom, West’s demeanor was low and deliberate on purpose.
With a smile, he said he’s just slow, but added that it takes him a while to process what’s being said and when he speaks, he wants to be accurate and precise and know what’s he’s talking about.
West said he does get angry in the courtroom, but he feels it shows a loss of control, which he said is important for any courtroom lawyer to maintain.
Looking back at the Zimmerman trial, his frustration was clearly evident at times. He said a lot of the case seemed “surreal.”
At times, West and Judge Debra Nelson seemed at odds and he was admonished a time or two.
He maintains that it came to a point where it didn’t really matter whether he and the judge were getting along and they were “chums.”
He had a job to do, West said, and whether he was liked at that moment was less important that standing up and doing that job.
West shared his views on race relations and his opinion that race did not have a role in the trial in an extended interview you can watch by clicking the link under the “Video Stories” headline.