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In the Media

article imageGeorge Zimmerman back in jail after bail revoked

article:326025:7::0
By JohnThomas Didymus
Jun 4, 2012 in Crime
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Sanford - George Zimmerman turned himself in at the Seminole County Jail in Sanford, Fla., early on Sunday, after a judge revoked his bail following evidence that he and his wife Shelly, mislead the court about his finances.
Zimmerman was granted bail after he was arrested and charged with second-degree murder in the death of 17-year-old African-American Trayvon Martin.
ABC News reports sheriff's office officials brought Zimmerman into jail in full view of the media. He arrived at the Seminole County Jail less than one hour before the 2:30 p.m. deadline for his surrender.
According to MSNBC, Zimmerman arrived at the jail on Sunday from an "undisclosed" location where he had been staying because of alleged "significant threats to his life."
Daily Mail reports that his attorney Mark O'Mara, said, "The defense team hopes that Mr Zimmerman's voluntary surrender to Sanford police will help demonstrate to the court that he is not a flight risk."
On his arrival, Zimmerman was met by officers who took him into custody. According to ABC News, law enforcement officials said he was booked and placed in isolation for his own protection. MSNBC reports that Seminole County Sheriff Donald Eslinger, said at a news conference on Sunday that Zimmerman will stay in a single cell measuring 67-square-feet and equipped with a toilet, two beds, a mattress, pillow, blanket and sheets.
Zimmerman returns to jail after he was granted $150,000 bail. He went into hiding to await his trial for the death of Trayvon Martin.
Digital Journal reports he is returning to jail after a hearing on Friday in which the court was told that Zimmerman and his wife Shelly, had tried to conceal from the court more than $135,000 they received in donation for his legal funds. Circuit Court Judge Kenneth Lester revoked Zimmerman's bail and ordered him to turn himself in within 48 hrs.
Zimmerman had amassed within weeks more than $200,000 in donations after he launched a website therealgeorgezimmerman.com on April 9. Digital Journal reports that at a bond hearing on April 20, Zimmerman and his wife told the judge they had only very little money.
The prosecution produced evidence from four phone conversations in which Zimmerman and his wife appeared to be discussing small amounts of money when they were actually referring to some of the $200,000 donated into his Paypal account, ABC News reports.
According to ABC News, the following discussion was recorded in a call conversation between Zimmerman and his wife on April 16:
George Zimmerman: In my account do I have at least $100?
Shelly Zimmerman: No
George Zimmerman: How close am I?
Shelly Zimmerman: $8. $8.60
George Zimmerman: Really? So total everything how much are we looking at?
Shelly Zimmerman: Like $155
According to prosecutor Bernie De La Rionda, Shelly Zimmerman actually meant $155,000 when she said $155.
The prosecutor said that the couple knew that their conversation was being recorded, so they spoke in "code" and knowingly withheld from the court the amount of money they had received in donations within 2 weeks of setting up therealgeorgezimmerman.com website. Digital Journal reports that the Zimmermans had $135,000 available at the time of the bail hearing.
According to Daily Mail, prosecutor Bernie De la Rionda described the testimony of Zimmerman and his wife as "misleading." De la Rionda said: "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."
MNSBC reports that by concealing information about how much money they had received in donations, Zimmerman benefited from a lower bond than he might have been granted had the court known how much money he really had.
Daily Mail reports it was also revealed that Zimmerman kept a second passport at his home and that he and his wife also discussed it in "code." Prosecutors said Zimmerman failed to surrender a second passport, but the judge set aside "that concern as the equivalent of someone who has lost a driver's license, applies for a new one and then finds the old driver's license."
According to MSNBC, Zimmerman's lawyer, O'Mara, said in a posting on the defense team's website that he would seek a new bond hearing and that at the hearing he would argue that the "vast majority" of the donated money was held in an independently managed trust and that neither "Zimmerman or his attorneys have direct access to the money."
Benjamin Crump, attorney for Martin's family, said that the finding that Zimmerman was dishonest was "very important because his credibility is the most important thing in this entire case." Legal experts agree that the finding could undermine Zimmerman's credibility in trial.
MSNBC reports that at a news conference on Sunday, Zimmerman's attorney Mark O'Mara, said, "there’s a credibility issue that needs to be rehabilitated by explaining away why they did what they did, if that’s what happened.”
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