George Zimmerman's wife joins husband in jail for perjury
Shellie Zimmerman, wife of George Zimmerman, the neighborhood watchman who shot and killed unarmed 17-year-old Trayvon Martin, joined her husband in jail after being arrested for perjury, local news media has just reported.
On Tuesday, Shellie,25, was arrested and booked into John E. Polk Correctional Facility on a perjury charge due to testimony she gave in April on behalf of her husband, George at his bond hearing.
It happens to be the same facility that her husband has called home since the deception was revealed earlier this month, leading the judge to revoke his bond.
As the Orlando Sentinel reports
, at her husband's bond hearing, Shellie Zimmerman was asked repeatedly about money.
"How much did the couple collect in donations through George Zimmerman's website?" the court asked.
"Currently, I do not know," Shellie said.
But prosecutors say Shellie Zimmerman did know because spent the days before that April hearing shifting tens of thousands of dollars out of her husband's account, then deliberately lied to the judge.
At that hearing she and other family members described their financial situation as dire. She said the couple did not have much money, because she was a full-time nursing student and her husband wasn't working.
As a result of their financial situation, Judge Kenneth Lester granted George Zimmerman $150,000 bond on the second-degree-murder charge he faces in the death of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin.
He was released later that day.
But prosecutors found out Zimmerman actually raised $135,000 in donations from a website he created for the express purpose of raising money for his defense. His bond was later revoked and Zimmerman is now back in jail.
Earlier in the day Tuesday, Judge Kenneth Lester filed a written order
explaining why he revoked George Zimmerman's bond, reports WKMG
In his order, Lester said recorded conversations between Zimmerman and his wife at the jail "support its assertions of deception." Lester says prosecutors noted they "spoke in code to make it sound like they were talking about negligible sums of money."
Lester also says Zimmerman's unreported passport was avoided during their testimony.
"It is apparent that Shellie Zimmerman testified untruthfully at the bond hearing. The Defendant also testified but did not alert the Court to the misinformation," Lester wrote. "Most importantly though, is the fact that he has now demonstrated that he doesn't properly respect the law or the integrity of the judicial process."
A second bond hearing has been scheduled for June 29 at 9:30 a.m. by Zimmerman's attorney, Mark O'Mara.
"The prosecutor sent a strong message that you have to tell the truth in court because it is the whole basis of the American judicial system," said Benjamin Crump, an attorney for Trayvon's family, after learning of the new arrest, according to the Sentinel.
George Zimmerman is charged with second-degree murder for fatally shooting Martin during a confrontation in a Sanford gated community where Zimmerman lived. He said he was standing his ground and pleaded not guilty, claiming self-defense.
Shellie was later released on $1,000 bond.