Threats for man given old George Zimmerman phone number

Image caption,
Mr Zimmerman gave the number to a police dispatcher the night of the shooting

A Florida man says he received death threats after being assigned the mobile phone number previously used by the man who killed teenager Trayvon Martin.

Junior Alexander Guy told the Orlando Sentinel he received about 70 angry phone calls at all hours of the night.

Mr Guy, 49, bought a mobile for the first time but found himself besieged by callers angry at George Zimmerman, who is charged with murder.

Mr Zimmerman maintains he shot the 17-year-old Martin in self-defence.

Mr Zimmerman had given his number to a police dispatcher shortly before Trayvon Martin was killed, and it was then reported by some US media organisations.

Although he quickly gave up the phone number, the practise of assigning old numbers to new customers meant that it soon found itself a new owner.

Damages refused

It was the first time Guy had bought a mobile phone, in part because he was only released from prison in 2011, after serving 19 years for cocaine trafficking.

That was his third time in prison, report say.

After activating his phone he received messages including: "You murderer" and "You deserve to die".

"I was not only afraid for my life, I was afraid for my mother's," Mr Guy said. He moved himself and his mother out of their home.

Mr Guy, who bought the the phone from T-Mobile, turned it over to a lawyer, Robert Trimble.

Mr Trimble has asked the company to pay damages, but T-Mobile has refused. A company lawyer told the Orlando Sentinel they offered to change the number, as well as providing an account credit.

George Zimmerman's old phone number has now been retired.