George Zimmerman's wife charged with perjury
ORLANDO, Fla. -- The wife of the Trayvon Martin's shooter was charged with perjury Tuesday, accused of lying when she told a judge that the couple had limited funds during a hearing that resulted in her husband being released on $150,000 bond.
Shellie Zimmerman, 25, was released on $1,000 bond. George Zimmerman has pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder in the teen's slaying and had been out on the bond after the April hearing. However, Circuit Judge Kenneth Lester on June 1 revoked the bond and ordered Zimmerman returned to the Seminole County Jail. Lester in a strongly worded ruling said the Zimmermans lied about how much money they had.
An arrest affidavit for Shellie Zimmerman said that records show in April she transferred more than $85,500 from her bank account into her husband's account. The affidavit also said that jail call records show that George Zimmerman instructed her to "pay off all the bills," including an American Express and Sam's Club card.
A state attorney investigator met with credit union officials and learned that she had transfer control of his account.
Zimmerman's attorney Mark O'Mara has said the Zimmermans were confused and fearful when they misled court officials about how much money they had.
George Zimmerman, a 28-year-old neighborhood watch volunteer, has maintained since the Feb. 26 killing that he shot Martin in self-defense because the unarmed 17-year-old was beating him up after confronting Zimmerman about following him in a gated community outside Orlando.
Zimmerman was arrested 44 days later and at the bond hearing, he took the stand and apologized to Martin's parents.
Prosecutors pointed out in their motion that Zimmerman had $135,000 available then. It had been raised from donations through a website he set up and they suggested more has been collected since and deposited in a bank account.
Shellie Zimmerman was asked about the website at the hearing, but she said she didn't know how much money had been raised. Lester set the $150,000 bail and Zimmerman was freed a few days later after posting $15,000 in cash -- which is typical.
In bringing a motion to have Zimmerman's bond revoked lead prosecutor Bernie De la Rionda complained "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."
The judge agreed and ordered Zimmerman returned to jail where he has been since turning himself in on June 3.
"Does your client get to sit there like a potted plant and lead the court down the primrose path? That's the issue," Lester said in revoking Zimmerman's bond. "He can't sit back and obtain the benefit of a lower bond based upon those material falsehoods."
He has another bond hearing set for June 29.
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