On Fri., June 1, Florida Circuit Judge Kenneth Lester revoked George Zimmerman’s bond and ordered him to surrender to authorities within 48 hours, following the prosecution’s claim that Zimmerman and his wife, Shellie, misled the court about the amount of money they had available when his $150,000 bond was set in April after being charged with second-degree murder in the shooting death of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin.
Shellie Zimmerman testified she and her husband had limited funds since he wasn’t working and she was a nursing student. However, prosecutors claim Zimmerman had $135,000 available in a PayPal account he received as donations from a website he created. Zimmerman’s defense attorney, Mark O’Mara, said the fact that Zimmerman and his wife never used the money for anything indicated “there was no deceit”. But prosecutor Bernie De la Rionda says their testimony was misleading:
“This court was led to believe they didn’t have a single penny. It was misleading and I don’t know what words to use other than it was a blatant lie.”
In addition to the financial issue, prosecutors also say Zimmerman failed to surrender a second passport, but Judge Lester dismissed the concern as the equivalent of someone losing a driver’s license, applying for a new one and then finding the old one.
Following the judge’s ruling, O’Mara told reporters that he hadn’t yet spoken with his client but Zimmerman would turn himself in within 48 hours as instructed. Martin family attorney Ben Crump called Judge Lester’s ruling the most important one in the case so far:
Judge Lester’s ruling in this matter is so important because it causes everyone to focus on Zimmerman’s credibility. This is crucial when it is only Zimmerman’s testimony that Trayvon attacked him and all the objective evidence says he perused, confronted, and shot Trayvon.
George Zimmerman is pleading not guilty, claiming he shot the unarmed teen in self-defense. If convicted, he could face up to life in prison.