George Zimmerman's bail set at $1M in Trayvon Martin case

ORLANDO, Fla. - The neighborhood watch volunteer who killed Trayvon Martin can be released from jail on $1 million bond while he awaits trial on a second-degree murder charge, a judge ruled Thursday.

Circuit Judge Kenneth Lester granted bond to George Zimmerman for a second time. Lester had revoked Zimmerman's $150,000 bond last month after prosecutors told the judge Zimmerman and his wife misled the court about how much money they had during an April bond hearing.

Prosecutors said a website Zimmerman created for his legal defense had raised $135,000 at the time of his first bond hearing. Zimmerman and his wife did not mention the money then, and Shellie Zimmerman even said the couple had limited resources because she was a student and he wasn't working.

The judge made his decision after listening to Zimmerman's attorney and a forensic financial analyst explain why he wasn't more forthcoming.

Prosecutors previously argued the couple talked in code during recorded jailhouse conversations about how to transfer the donations to different bank accounts. For example, George Zimmerman at one point asked how much money they had. She replied "$155." Prosecutors allege that was code for $155,000. Their reference to "Peter Pan" was code for the PayPal system through which the donations were made, prosecutors said.

Zimmerman's attorney Mark O'Mara sparred with prosecutors over those finances last week and questioned why his client is in jail at all, arguing that Martin's actions led to his death.

O'Mara ultimately decided against calling his client to the stand during last Friday's hearing, unlike during the first bond hearing, when Zimmerman apologized to Martin's family.

The defense attorney called Zimmerman's father to testify, and played a chilling 911 call from the Feb. 26 night when Martin was killed. The call includes a disputed cry for help and the fatal gunshot. Robert Zimmerman said he was sure that was his son's cry.

Shellie Zimmerman has since been charged with perjury. She is out of jail on $1,000 bond and her arraignment is set for July 31.

Zimmerman has been charged with second-degree murder for fatally shooting the unarmed 17-year-old Martin on Feb. 26 at a gated apartment community in Sanford. Zimmerman has pleaded not guilty and claims the shooting was self-defense under the state's "stand your ground" law.

Martin's parents and supporters claim that the teenager was targeted because he was black and that Zimmerman started the confrontation that led to the shooting. Zimmerman's father is white and his mother is Hispanic.

The 44 days between the shooting and Zimmerman's arrest inspired nationwide protests, led to the departure of the Sanford police chief and prompted a U.S. Justice Department probe.

Print this article Back to Top

Comments

Related Stories

George Zimmerman will not face domestic violence charges, prosecutor says George Zimmerman will not face domestic violence charges, prosecutor says

Prosecutors say they will not file domestic violence charges against George Zimmerman after his girlfriend said in a sworn statement she did not want to pursue the case.

George Zimmerman released from jail after court hearing George Zimmerman released from jail after court hearing

George Zimmerman has been released from jail hours after his first court appearance on domestic violence-related charges.

George Zimmerman George Zimmerman's estranged wife Shellie won't press charges despite 911 call

The 911 call seemed frantic: George Zimmerman's sobbing estranged wife said he was threatening her and her father with a gun and she feared for her life. Please come.

George Zimmerman caught speeding again, given a $256 ticket George Zimmerman caught speeding again, given a $256 ticket

Former neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman apparently has a lead foot.

Florida Juror B29 to ABC News: George Zimmerman got away with murder in death of Trayvon Martin Florida Juror B29 to ABC News: George Zimmerman got away with murder in death of Trayvon Martin

Another juror comes out from the shadows in the aftermath of the George Zimmerman verdict, sitting down with ABC News' Robin Roberts.

Ohio gun group raises $12K for George Zimmerman Ohio gun group raises $12K for George Zimmerman

An Ohio firearms group has raised more than $12,000 to buy guns or a security system for George Zimmerman.

Officials: George Zimmerman helped 4 out of wrecked SUV Officials: George Zimmerman helped 4 out of wrecked SUV

Officials say George Zimmerman helped rescue four people from an overturned vehicle last week, just days after he was cleared of all charges in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin.

Four George Zimmerman jurors release statement about trial Four George Zimmerman jurors release statement about trial

Four of the jurors at the George Zimmerman trial distanced themselves late Tuesday from statements that another juror made in a televised interview.

George Zimmerman verdict protesters raid Los Angeles store, stop freeway George Zimmerman verdict protesters raid Los Angeles store, stop freeway

Protesters ran through Los Angeles streets Monday night, breaking windows, attacking people on sidewalks and at one point raiding a Wal-Mart store in  demonstrations over George Zimmerman's Florida acquittal in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin.

Juror: George Zimmerman had right to defend himself Juror: George Zimmerman had right to defend himself

A juror in the George Zimmerman trial said Monday that the actions of the neighborhood watch volunteer and Trayvon Martin both led to the teenager's fatal shooting last year, but that Zimmerman didn't actually break the law.