ORLANDO – An attorney for the medical examiner in the George Zimmerman case whose testimony was challenged at length by defense attorneys says his client plans to sue for wrongful termination after he was fired recently.
According to a letter released by Volusia County officials on Tuesday, Shiping Bao was fired from his post as an associate medical examiner last Friday. County spokesman Dave Byron declined to give a reason or comment further, citing “standard practice in personnel matters.”
Bao performed Trayvon Martin’s autopsy in February 2012 and offered conflicting testimony at Zimmerman’s murder trial in July about how long the 17-year-old Martin could have lived after he was shot during a struggle with the former neighborhood watch leader.
Attorney Willie E. Gary has since been retained by Bao and said he plans to file a lawsuit for wrongful termination, discrimination and job harassment against the Volusia medical examiner’s office, Sanford police department and the prosecutors. Gary said Bao contends they “set him up to fail” and that prosecutors didn’t properly prepare him to testify in the trial. He expects to file the suit in a week.
“It just doesn’t make sense they would have him give him a deposition in November last year and then have him beg and plead for a copy,” Gary said. “They did virtually no preparation with him. He said from the medical examiner on down their attitude was Trayvon got what he deserved.”
During Zimmerman’s trial, Bao changed his original opinion about how long Martin lived after being shot. He also relied on his own notes to recall some facts of the autopsy, prompting defense attorneys to demand copies for review.
Zimmerman was acquitted of all charges in Martin’s shooting.
In an Aug. 23 letter from his employer, Bao was granted 30 days to find employment at another office, and he declined to resign at the end of that period.
Bao began his employment with Volusia County in July 2011 and made an annual salary of $175,950.