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Family photo puts Zimmerman attorney back in court of public opinion

By Vivian Kuo, CNN
updated 9:30 AM EDT, Sat June 29, 2013
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Zimmerman defense attorney Don West used a knock-kock joke in his opening statement
  • A photo posted by one of his daughters shows dad and daughters eating ice cream
  • A comment with the photo said "We beat stupidity celebration cones," and "#dadkilledit"
  • West: "Sometimes we're deeply disappointed by the things our children do"

(CNN) -- The same George Zimmerman defense attorney who drew skepticism over his choice to tell a knock-knock joke during opening statements of his client's second-degree murder trial is again in an unflattering spotlight -- this time thanks to a family photo and social media.

Friday, a photo posted on photo-sharing site Instagram from the account "mollywestttt" showed a picture of two girls and veteran criminal defense attorney Don West eating generously-sized ice cream cones.

A comment below the photo from mollywestttt read: "We beat stupidity celebration cones," along with "#zimmerman," "#defense" and "#dadkilledit."

Zimmerman defense team communications director Shawn Vincent confirmed the photo came from Don West's 23-year-old daughter, Molly, featured in the photo along with West and another of his four daughters.

Vincent said it was a tradition in West's family to go out for ice cream together. After court let out this week, West and two of his daughters went to get ice cream and took a picture to commemorate it "like old times."

As negative comments about the sensitivity of the photo picked up steam Friday, Molly West's account was deactivated later that day.

In a statement, West said, "Sometimes we're deeply disappointed by the things our children do. But we love them anyway, and we move on."

The photo appears to have been taken Tuesday, and posted sometime later that day or Wednesday.

Vincent said he hasn't heard from Molly West on what she specifically meant by it. He acknowledges the photo reflects on the defense poorly.

"It doesn't reflect how Don feels. And we're aware that the themes sure this case are very apparently race, self-defense and gun control and we're aware that none of those things or that debate is going to be resolved in this court room," Vincent said.

"How we conduct ourselves as we move towards whatever the verdict is going to be, we know reflects on all those issues. This photo is completely contrary to what we've tried to more than a year on how to conduct ourselves."

Zimmerman is on trial for the 2012 shooting of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin in a case that has drawn widespread attention.

Zimmerman, then a neighborhood watch captain, is charged with second-degree murder in the shooting of Martin in Sanford, Florida. Zimmerman told police he followed the teenager because there had been some recent break-ins in the area. He says he was forced to shoot Martin during their confrontation in self-defense.

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