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After Zimmerman's website raises more than $200,000, prosecution asks judge to raise bond

 
 
Reply Fri 27 Apr, 2012 03:07 pm
After Zimmerman's website raises more than $200,000, prosecution asks judge to raise bond
By Becky Bratu, msnbc.com
4/27/2012

George Zimmerman's attorney says his client has pulled in more than $200,000 in donations from his website to help with his defense. NBC's Kerry Sanders reports.

The prosecution in the second-degree murder case against George Zimmerman asked a Florida judge Friday to raise Zimmerman's bond in light of recent revelations that a website for his defense raised more than $200,000.

Circuit Judge Kenneth Lester said he wants to know more about the money before he decides whether to adjust the bond. The judge said he will make a decision at a later date.

Zimmerman's attorney Mark O'Mara revealed Thursday night that his client's website had raised about $204,000 in donations, adding that the money has been placed in an account that can't be accessed directly by Zimmerman or his family.

"He asked me what to do with his PayPal accounts, and I asked him what he was talking about," O'Mara told CNN in an interview on Thursday. "He said those were the accounts that had the money from the website he had. And there was about ... $204,000 that had come in to date."

O'Mara told the judge about the money at a hearing Friday. The hearing was previously scheduled to discuss whether Zimmerman's file should be made public. Zimmerman is accused of second-degree murder in the shooting death of unarmed black teenager Trayvon Martin.

O'Mara told the judge the money is currently in a trust fund that he controls and Zimmerman cannot access.

The website, which was created before Zimmerman turned himself in, has been shut down by O'Mara, who told the court he was not aware of the money it had raised when he spoke at Zimmerman's bond hearing last week. The site included pictures, quotes and a page asking for donations via PayPal.

Zimmerman, 28, the former neighborhood watch volunteer, was released early Monday from a Florida county jail on $150,000 bail. His family put up 10 percent to secure his release.

Martin's family was distressed to hear Zimmerman had raised so much money, considering the bond was set by the judge based on his family's limited wealth, their attorney said.

"They tried to portray themselves as indigent that they did not have any money," Martin family attorney Benjamin Crump said, according to CNN.

"We think that the court should revoke his bond immediately and he should be held accountable for misleading the court," he added.

At the bond hearing last week, Zimmerman's wife told the court she did not know how much money the website had collected in donations, adding that her brother-in-law helped set it up. She said the family is “trying to scrape up anything that we possibly can.”

According to CNN, O'Mara said Zimmerman's defense costs could reach $1 million.

"You can really go through a lot of money on a case like this, with the intensity of it," he said.

At the hearing Friday, the judge said he wouldn't place a gag order on Zimmerman's attorney, denying prosecutor Bernie de la Rionda's request. The prosecutor had complained to the court that O'Mara had been talking about the facts of the case to the media.

Zimmerman says Martin attacked him and he shot in self-defense. He was not charged for more than six weeks, sparking national protests. Martin was black; Zimmerman's father is white and his mother is Hispanic.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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BumbleBeeBoogie
 
  1  
Reply Fri 27 Apr, 2012 03:33 pm
@BumbleBeeBoogie,
Judge delays decision on George Zimmerman contributions
By the CNN Wire Staff
April 27, 2012

(CNN) -- George Zimmerman, the neighborhood watch volunteer accused of wrongly killing Trayvon Martin, will not immediately have to turn over donations made to his website, a Florida judge said Friday.

Zimmerman collected about $204,000 in donations through the website, but did not disclose the contributions during his bond hearing last week, according to his attorney, Mark O'Mara. Prosecutors had asked for a bond of $1 million, but Judge Kenneth Lester Jr. made it $150,000 after Zimmerman's family testified they did not have the resources necessary to meet the higher level.

Assistant State Attorney Bernie de la Rionda on Friday asked Lester to increase the bond in light of the donations. But the judge said he would delay ruling on the request, in part because he does not know if he has authority to say how the money can be used.

Lester and O'Mara both said they are concerned about releasing the names of donors to Zimmerman, who has faced threats since the case began making national headlines in March.

"My fear is they may well be targeted for reprisals or animosities or whatever," O'Mara told reporters after the hearing.

Zimmerman, 28, was released Monday on $150,000 bail, 10% of which was put up to secure his release while he awaits trial on a second-degree murder charge in Martin's February 26 death.

About $5,000 from the website contribution was used in making bond, O'Mara said. The rest came from a loan secured by a family home.

Although Zimmerman spent some of the contributions on living expenses, about $150,000 remains, O'Mara said Friday. O'Mara said he has put the money into a trust he controls until a final decision is made about its use.

Lester asked for additional information about the accounts but did not indicate when he would rule.

"I'm not going to make a snap decision," the judge said.

Also during Friday's hearing, Lester declined to consider a gag order requested by prosecutors, saying it was premature and that none of the attorneys in the case had said anything to concern him so far. CNN was among the media organizations opposing the motion.

O'Mara said he learned about the money on Wednesday as he and Zimmerman were trying to shut down Zimmerman's website, Facebook page and Twitter account to avoid concerns about possible impersonators and other problems.

"He asked me what to do with his PayPal accounts, and I asked him what he was talking about," O'Mara told CNN's Anderson Cooper on Thursday. "He said those were the accounts that had the money from the website he had. And there was about ... $204,000 that had come in to date."

O'Mara had said earlier this month that he believed Zimmerman had no money.

Asked whether knowledge of the money might have made a difference to Lester, who presided at Zimmerman's bond hearing, O'Mara said, "It might have."

O'Mara could not explain why Zimmerman didn't disclose the funds, but said he didn't think his client had meant to deceive anyone.

"If that was an oversight by him, then it was. And quite honestly, with everything he's going through for the past several weeks, if that's the only oversight he's committed, we'll deal with it, Judge Lester will deal with it," he said.

Martin family attorney Benjamin Crump said Zimmerman's failure to reveal that he had the money shows that he is being dishonest.

"If his testimony at the bond hearing is any indication of what is to come, then the lying has already begun," Crump said.

The attorney also said the Martin family has raised less than $100,000 in fund-raising efforts to date, and that the money collected will go toward the Trayvon Martin Foundation.

Crump said his firm will not collect a fee in any of the criminal proceedings.

"If we collect any money, it will be from a civil lawsuit and not from any donor money," he said.

Zimmerman was arrested April 11 after a lengthy delay punctuated by protests and rallies nationwide calling for charges against him.

Critics accuse Zimmerman of racially profiling and unjustly killing Martin, a 17-year-old African-American. Zimmerman told police he shot Martin in self-defense, according to police reports.

Although details of the shooting remain murky, it is known that Martin ventured out from the Sanford, Florida, home of his father's fiancee and went to a nearby convenience store, where he bought a bag of candy and an iced tea. On his way back, he had a confrontation with Zimmerman, who shot him.

Zimmerman had called 911 to complain about a suspicious person in the neighborhood, according to authorities.

In the call, Zimmerman said he was following Martin after the teen started to run, prompting the dispatcher to tell him, "We don't need you to do that." Zimmerman pursued Martin anyway but then said he lost sight of him.

According to an Orlando Sentinel story later confirmed by Sanford police, Zimmerman told authorities that after he briefly lost track of Martin, the teen approached him. After the two exchanged words, Zimmerman said, he reached for his cell phone, and then Martin punched him in the nose. Zimmerman said Martin pinned him to the ground and began slamming his head onto the sidewalk, leading to the shooting.

Police have said Zimmerman was not immediately charged because there was no evidence to disprove his account that he'd acted in self-defense. A police report indicated he was bleeding from the nose and the back of his head.

O'Mara on Friday revealed a new website, www.gzlegalcase.com, and another site, not yet live, that will host a defense fund. The only thing on the site Friday morning was a statement about the donations.

Regardless of what happens to the contributions, O'Mara intends to open a legal defense fund for his client, he said.

"I've had dozens, hundreds actually, of people wanting to donate," he said Thursday.

O'Mara, who said he charges $400 per hour for family law cases, estimated Zimmerman's defense costs could reach $1 million.

"You can really go through a lot of money on a case like this, with the intensity of it," he said.
BumbleBeeBoogie
 
  1  
Reply Tue 1 May, 2012 10:03 am
@BumbleBeeBoogie,
May. 01, 2012
Trayvon Martin case sparks investigations into other shootings around U.S.
Frances Robles | The Miami Herald

Kenneth Chamberlain Jr.’s foray into activism started with a Facebook post.

Someone placed a petition demanding the arrest of Trayvon Martin’s killer on Chamberlain’s Facebook wall, and that got the New York behavior counselor thinking: What about his own dad’s unprosecuted killing?

“I signed Trayvon’s petition, sat back, and thought, ‘Well, maybe I should do a petition,’” he said. “I did and got 1,000 signatures. I was happy with 1,000.”

Then came more: Five months after Chamberlain’s father was killed in his home by a White Plains, N.Y., police officer, Chamberlain has not only 208,000 online signatures — he got a grand jury investigation as well.

Across the nation, experts say people disillusioned by the criminal justice system were galvanized by the Trayvon Martin case and took to the Internet to demand that police and prosecutors take a second look at questionable shootings. From New York to Chicago, Atlanta, North Carolina and elsewhere, people whose relatives were killed by cops, zealous security guards or neighbors are inundating law enforcement officials with online petitions, calls from attorneys and rallies.

With Trayvon’s killer, George Zimmerman, now facing second-degree murder charges, cases that activists say would otherwise have been swept under the rug are gaining new momentum. Social media tools allow anyone to start a petition and keep in touch with the people who signed. Experts say that has played a key role in spreading the word about other killings and helped empower victims, who are often poor and black.

The phenomenon has lifted the veil on dozens of questionable shootings around the nation where police or prosecutors carried out lackluster investigations or were perceived to have protected law enforcement, activists said.

“This is a message to law enforcement: Families are no longer powerless,” said Steven Biel, Director of SignOn.org, the online petition site associated with MoveOn.org. “These petitions offer a way to send emails and organize people in an ongoing way. That’s the most exciting thing: It’s not just petitions, but organizing rallies and making sure the targets understand this is not just a bunch of people clicking a mouse.”

Kenneth Chamberlain Sr., 68, was killed Nov. 19 after police went to his apartment responding to a medical alert alarm. An agitated Chamberlain would not police in, so after a standoff that lasted an hour and a half, police removed the door. Police accused the retired corrections officer and former Marine of coming at them with an axe. Officers tasered him, shot him with a beanbag shotgun and then killed him with a live round.

The audio of the entire episode was recorded by the medical alert company, which caught the officers using racial epithets and the elder Chamberlain telling a black police officer: “Black officer, why are you letting them do this? Why are your guns drawn?” attorney Randolph McLaughlin said. Video was also captured from the police Tasers.

The Westchester District Attorney declined to comment on the case, saying just that it is being presented to a grand jury. The five-month delay was necessary to gather forensic reports and other evidence, spokesman Lucien Chalfen said.

“It’s been investigated from the beginning,” Chalfen said. “It did not take a long time to take to a grand jury. It’s within the margin of error for the appropriate length of time.”

Although Chamberlain’s shooting has stark differences from Trayvon’s, the two have been likened as incidents where media attention and activism are credited for reopening investigations.

“They are killing young men in Florida and killing old men in New York, but there are significant differences in the cases,” said McLaughlin, an attorney with the law firm Newman Ferrara in New York. “There are also similarities: Trayvon was walking while black, while Mr. Chamberlain was just living while black.”

Treka McMillian was inspired by the Chamberlain online drive to start a petition of her own. Her goddaughter, Jasmine Thar, a 16-year-old high school sophomore, was killed two days before Christmas in Chadbourn, N.C., when a man across the street said his rifle went off by accident.

The bullet struck Jasmine, McMillian, and another 17-year-old. No arrests have been made.

“I don’t care if it was an accident — still someone should be held accountable: Someone shot somebody,” said McMillian, a college women’s basketball coach. “You don’t want to make it about race, but you have to think that if a black person shot two kids, they’d be arrested.”

Jasmine was black, and the shooter is white.

The Justice for Jasmine petition on SignOn.org now has more than 70,000 signatures. McMillian recently learned that the FBI will investigate the matter, and the district attorney agreed to meet with the dead teen’s family.

“I didn’t want it pushed under the rug and not dealt with,” she said.

The Change.org petition launched by Trayvon Martin’s parents after his Feb. 26 shooting ultimately gathered 2.2 million signatures. With Zimmerman now before the criminal justice system, the petition drive will be logged as a successful campaign, said Jon Perri, senior organizer for criminal justice at Change.org.

Dozens of petitions have sprung up since, including several for and against Florida’s Stand Your Ground law. Several drives have taken up the cause of Rekia Boyd, a 22-year-old Chicago woman shot by an off-duty police officer. The officer claimed self defense because he was in a dispute with another man.

“I think overall there are people concerned and frustrated with the criminal justice system for a variety of reasons,” Perri said. “A lot people feel that if they don’t have money, they feel they have nowhere to turn. This platform is opening the floodgates.”

Trayvon’s parents’ attorney, Benjamin Crump, agreed.

“I would say I have gotten 20 calls at least,” he said. “You hear these cases, young men — black and Hispanic — getting killed in very suspicious circumstances. They are often poor minorities, and it’s rare that I see a full impartial hearing.”

In the Bronx, activists are hoping the shooting of an unarmed 18-year-old killed in his grandmother’s apartment gains the kind of momentum Trayvon’s killing did. The Bronx district attorney is investigating why police followed Ramarley Graham into his apartment and knocked down the door and killed him, but no arrests have been made in the February shooting.

Graham was killed in the bathroom, where he was disposing of marijuana. The case has brought new attention to the New York Police Department’s “stop and frisk” policies that activists say inordinately target blacks and Hispanics.

Graham’s family’s attorney, Jeffrey Emdin, said he deliberately scaled back publicity so that if a case ever goes before jurors, defense lawyers would not argue for a change of venue. But when hundreds of thousands of people hit the streets for Trayvon, the comparisons were quickly made and the momentum picked up.

“Trayvon galvanized this case,” Emdin said. “To me the difference between Trayvon and Ramarley is the fact that the crime was committed by a police officer and Trayvon’s was committed by a citizen purportedly acting under a different set of laws. What’s similar is how police handled the matter. How impartial were they? Have they investigated? Is there a racial motive?”

The New York Police Department referred questions about the case to the Bronx District Attorney, which said only that an investigation is ongoing.

“I do think the legacy of Trayvon Martin is that people will hold police to higher accountability,” Emdin said.

BumbleBeeBoogie
 
  1  
Reply Wed 2 May, 2012 09:15 am
@BumbleBeeBoogie,
May. 02, 2012
Old George Zimmerman Myspace page surfaces
Frances Robles | McClatchy Newspapers

SANFORD, Fla -- ]

Just as George Zimmerman's attorney pushes the envelope of accepted legal practices by launching a social media operation for his client, another site has popped up that belonged to the controversial former neighborhood watchman.

This one is a seven-year old Myspace page called "only to be king again" that makes disparaging comments about Mexicans. The page, which his attorney confirmed Tuesday is legitimate, makes reference to 2005 criminal cases and a brush in court with a woman who Zimmerman called his "ex-hoe."

There are several photos of Zimmerman on the page, and in one of them he appears to be wearing the same orange polo shirt that he donned in his 2005 mug shot. Zimmerman used the name "Joe G." on the site and posted a biography that mentions he grew up in Manassas, Va., had recently opened an insurance business and missed all his friends.

Last month a Zimmerman Myspace page under the username "datniggytb" was taken down.

The Joe G page includes a missive written in street slang.

"I dont miss driving around scared to hit mexicans walkin on the side of the street, soft ass wanna be thugs messin with peoples cars when they aint around (what are you provin, that you can dent a car when no ones watchin) dont make you a man in my book," the 2005 Myspace page said. "Workin 96 hours to get a decent pay check, gettin knifes pulled on you by every mexican you run into!"

The pictures posted on the page including several with an ethnically diverse group of friends. The blog section boasts about having two felonies knocked down to misdemeanors and describes a court battle with an ex-girlfriend. Zimmerman faced two felonies in 2005 for obstructing justice and battery on a law enforcement officer, but the cases were reduced to misdemeanor simple battery, and he was left with no criminal conviction on his record.

Zimmerman's attorney, Mark O'Mara, confirmed the page was his client's, and that it was abandoned in 2005.

The site, discovered by a Canadian crime-forum user, was the latest discovery in an ongoing social media battle in the Zimmerman case. The Feb. 26 shooting of Miami Gardens teen Trayvon Martin received its first groundswell of attention on social media platforms, which were later used to portray the victim in a negative light. Now the defense is embracing those social media tools to provide forums for discussion - and to raise money.

Trayvon Martin's family took to the Web to raise funds and to gather petitions to demand criminal charges against Zimmerman. Now his killer's lawyer uses the medium to raise funds, post articles and announcements and dispel rumors.

"We are not surprised to discover that our decision is controversial," O'Mara posted on his site. "Some have called it unethical and some have called it brilliant; however, we believe much of the controversy is about the medium, not the message.

Last week, O'Mara said he ordered his client to wipe his Internet presence clean. Zimmerman took down his website, a Twitter account and any other social media accounts. Any remaining, O'Mara said, were fakes. Some even quoted Martin Luther King in ways O'Mara found in poor taste.

But once the defense attorney realized how much money Zimmerman had raised on the Web, he quickly set up a more polished website with a link to a professionally administered legal defense fund. O'Mara said he had agreed to take the case for free, but reconsidered once he learned he could be paid using upwards of $200,000 Zimmerman raised on the crudely made website he had taken down.

O'Mara hired Shawn Vincent of Orlando's Digital Marketing Revolution to manage a Facebook page as well. Within hours of the page going up, hundreds of people had posted comments both for and against the defendant, and a few people with fake user names shared harsh opinions of Trayvon Martin's family. One commenter on O'Mara's Facebook said Trayvon's mother was "mooching" off white people's money.

Within 24 hours, the site was changed so that users must submit comments for review before they are posted. Insults were deleted. About 1,800 people have "liked" the page so far.

Jayne Navarre, a South Florida consultant who devises social media strategies for lawyers, said O'Mara's use of social media will "almost certainly" taint a jury pool and compromise Zimmerman's shot at a fair trial. She said O'Mara also may be violating American Bar Association rules that prohibit a lawyer from helping third parties make prohibited extrajudicial comments.

While use of social media has risen exponentially in the legal field, "what we have not seen is a criminal defense attorney host social media channels on behalf of their client," Navarre said. "I would not be surprised to learn that members of the Bar are shocked and even disgusted."

American Bar Association rules say a lawyer can speak publicly on a case, as long as it does not prejudice a potential jury. The association is revamping its rules now to address social media, she said.

Lawyers usually use social media to advertise, educate, network, or recruit employees, she said. Some lawyers and judges have been sanctioned for inappropriate use of social media.

Until now, Navarre said the most unusual case study of a law firm using social media was in 2010, when the Massachusetts-based class action firm Sokolove Law Inc. launched the first known niche social networking site devoted to engaging potential and current class members in online discussions about the birth control pill YAZ. But the site was considered advertising and was deemed in compliance with ABA rules, she said.

"The tactic certainly was cutting edge, and I don't think the Bar saw any writing on the wall," Navarre said. "I find in my social media consulting practice that many lawyers are still dragging their feet for various reasons, the least of which is privacy and time, and just as many
0 Replies
 
BumbleBeeBoogie
 
  1  
Reply Sat 7 Jul, 2012 11:46 am
@BumbleBeeBoogie,
Jul. 06, 2012
George Zimmerman was preparing to jump bail, judge says
Frances Robles | The Miami Herald

The judge overseeing George Zimmerman’s murder trial wrote a stern eight-page order Thursday that set bail at $1 million and said the former neighborhood watch volunteer thumbed his nose at the judicial system as he plotted a life on the run.

Seminole County Circuit Judge Kenneth R. Lester ordered Zimmerman to remain in Seminole County, doing away with the special perk that had allowed Zimmerman to await trial in hiding out of state before his initial bail was revoked. Lester said nothing in the defense team’s presentation in a three-hour hearing last week explained why someone would stash a second passport and $135,000 if it wasn’t to jump bail.

“Notably, together with the passport, the money only had to be hidden for a short time for him to leave the country if the defendant made a quick decision to flee,” Lester wrote. “It is entirely reasonable for this court to find that, but for the requirement that he be placed on electronic monitoring, the defendant and his wife would have fled the United States with at least $130,000 of other people’s money.”

He rejected the defense argument that Zimmerman, 28, was young and confused when he instructed his wife, in jailhouse phone conversations, to transfer all the funds he raised online out of his name and allowed her to lie about it under oath at his initial bond hearing.

“Trayvon Martin is the only male whose youth is relevant to this case,” Lester wrote.

Lester’s strong rebuke underscored the difficult road Zimmerman has ahead before this judge, legal experts said. It’s Lester who would decide in a “Stand Your Ground” hearing whether Zimmerman’s case should be tossed out on the basis of self-defense immunity. Zimmerman’s life is now in the hands of a judge who said the defendant “manipulated” and flouted the court.

“A witness’ credibility is everything, and the judge views everything Zimmerman says with a suspicious eye,” said Mark NeJame, an Orlando attorney and CNN analyst whom Zimmerman consulted before hiring his current lawyer, Mark O’Mara. “Now O’Mara is going to face the tough decision whether to ever put him on the stand again.”

The judge noted in his ruling that Zimmerman even lied to his attorney by suggesting he could not pay for his defense.

“I have had a lot of clients like that,” NeJame said. “Some I fired. Some I told over and over, like a mantra, ‘tell the truth.’ At the end of the day, I’m going home. If he insists on lying or being less than forthright, he may not.”

Zimmerman faces a second-degree murder trial for shooting Trayvon to death on Feb. 26. Zimmerman insists he shot the unarmed Miami Gardens teen in self defense after an unprovoked attack that cost him a broken nose.

Thousands of people around the country believe him and feel he was railroaded by the special prosecutor and the media. They donated more than $200,000 to his legal defense fund — money Zimmerman hid from the court at his initial bond hearing on April 20.

Several hours after the judge’s ruling Thursday, the defense attorney posted a public plea for more contributions. He said the gifts dwindled when Zimmerman was behind bars, because supporters feared the account would be wiped out.

“In the next hours and days the defense team will be working to get George released on bail and on effective strategies for moving forward. Much of our decision-making will be based upon the funds available for mounting a defense,” O’Mara wrote on his website.

“For those who have given in the past, for those who have thought about giving, for those who feel Mr. Zimmerman was justified in his actions, for those who feel they would do the same if they were in Mr. Zimmerman’s shoes, for those that think Mr. Zimmerman has been treated unfairly by the media, for those who feel Mr. Zimmerman has been falsely accused as a racist, for those who feel this case is an affront to their constitutional rights — now is the time to show your support,” O’Mara wrote.

He said Zimmerman and his family do not have “anywhere near” $1 million to post as collateral.

Longtime bail bondsman Jack Benveniste said there’s nothing in the law that requires collateral, so Zimmerman should be able to pay the 10 percent bondsman fee and be released.

“This kid can’t disappear. That’s a safe bond,” said Benveniste, who owns All Dade Bail Bonds in Miami Beach. “He’s very visible: It would take two minutes to find him. I think he’s being punished by the judge. I’d write that bond with my eyes closed.”

The bond, Benveniste noted, will make a dent only in the attorney’s fees.

The legal defense fund — www.gzdefensefund.com — has a $211,000 balance, O’Mara wrote, and there are about $40,000 in payables for defense expenses so far, not including attorney fees, O’Mara wrote.

Hefty costs such as expert witnesses, deposition costs, private security and Zimmerman’s living expenses are ahead. “Paying bond and scheduled expenses would effectively wipe out the existing balance,” O’Mara said.

Although Judge Lester said he suspected Zimmerman was going to flee, the state did not prove its argument that Zimmerman should have no bond. The judge made his decision based on prior case law in which bond terms were violated.

“The increased bond is not a punishment,” Lester added. “It is meant to allay the court’s concern that the defendant intended to flee the jurisdiction and a lesser amount would not ensure his presence in court.”

Zimmerman had been free on $150,000 bail, but was sent back to jail last month after his attorney revealed that the defendant had misinformed the court about how much money he had. The judge said the misrepresentation could be interpreted as a third-degree felony, but Zimmerman has not been charged with lying on his bond application.

Prosecutors provided bank records that showed that on April 20, the day of Zimmerman’s original bond hearing, he had $135,000 in cash at his disposal, even as his family professed to be broke. Taped jailhouse phone calls between him and his wife showed he had instructed her to transfer money he had raised online out of his bank account into hers.

“Even though the defendant was in jail at the time, he was intimately involved in the deposit and transfer of money into various accounts,” Duval County Assistant State Attorney Bernie de la Rionda wrote. “Defendant was directing the show.”

For saying under oath that she did not know how much money they had raised and that the couple had no assets, Zimmerman’s wife, Shellie, was charged with perjury.

Prosecutors also said the taped calls show the couple talking about the whereabouts of Zimmerman’s second passport.

In his ruling, Judge Lester added that he could no longer consider Zimmerman’s “family ties” as a positive factor, as his family showed willingness to lie in court or allow a deception to stand without reporting the fraud. The bond needed to be set high, he said, because Zimmerman’s loss of money he never earned through hard work would be of little consequence to him.

“It can be deemed almost as ‘found money,’” the judge wrote.

If he is able to post bond, Zimmerman must check in with the court’s pretrial release department every 48 hours; wear an electronic monitoring device; maintain a 6 p.m.-to-6 a.m. curfew, and refrain from drinking or maintaining a bank account. He’s barred from entering Orlando International Airport and getting another passport.

“Trayvon’s parents would rather that the killer of their unarmed child remain in jail until the trial; however they respect the ruling of the court and the strong message that the judge sent that deference to judicial integrity is paramount to all court proceedings,” the parents’ attorney, Benjamin Crump, said in a statement. “Furthermore, they understand that this is not a sprint to justice, but a long journey to justice that they must bear for their son Trayvon.”
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tsarstepan
 
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Reply Tue 17 Dec, 2013 11:31 am
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