Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Attorney: George Zimmerman was confused, fearful

ORLANDO — The former neighborhood watch leader charged with fatally shooting Trayvon Martin was confused and fearful when he and his wife misled court officials about their finances during an April bond hearing that allowed him to be released from jail, his attorney said Monday.

Attorney Mark O'Mara wrote on a website run by George Zimmerman's legal team that he will ask for another bond hearing. A day earlier, Zimmerman returned to jail because his $150,000 bond was revoked by a Florida judge after prosecutors claimed Zimmerman and his wife, Shellie, deceived the court during the bond hearing.

At the hearing, Shellie Zimmerman testified that the couple had limited funds for bail because she was a full-time student and her husband wasn't working. Prosecutors say Zimmerman actually had raised $135,000 in donations from a website he created.

Circuit Judge Kenneth Lester ordered Zimmerman returned to the Seminole County Jail, and Zimmerman complied Sunday afternoon. Zimmerman had been hiding in an undisclosed location for safety reasons.

"While Mr. Zimmerman acknowledges that he allowed his financial situation to be misstated in court, the defense will emphasize that in all other regards, Mr. Zimmerman has been forthright and cooperative," O'Mara said.

Zimmerman will remain in jail at least until Monday because the judge will be out of court this week and has no hearings scheduled.

Zimmerman is charged with second-degree murder for fatally shooting Martin during a confrontation in a Sanford gated community where Zimmerman lived and where Martin was visiting. He has pleaded not guilty and is claiming self-defense. The delay in his arrest for 44 days led to protests nationwide and led to intense debate about self-defense laws and race. Martin was black; Zimmerman's father is white and his mother is from Peru.

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