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In jail phone calls, George Zimmerman talks of love, hiding and money

George Zimmerman is back in jail, and his wife, Shellie, faces a perjury charge.

George Zimmerman is back in jail, and his wife, Shellie, faces a perjury charge.

ORLANDO — In a half-dozen phone calls between a jailed George Zimmerman and his wife, the couple talk about their love for each other, their confidence in the future and how to move around money, recordings released Monday morning reveal.

Special Prosecutor Angela Corey released audio of six phone calls between Zimmerman and his wife.

Prosecutors allege they prove that Shellie Zimmerman lied during her husband's bail hearing when she told a judge that she and her husband were broke.

The recordings reveal that Zimmerman, from his jail cell, gave his wife step-by-step instructions on how to change a password and clear security questions so that she could move money from one account to others.

Prosecutors allege the couple spoke in code to move money from an Internet PayPal account that was being flooded with donations for Zimmerman.

In the calls, Zimmerman makes repeated reference to "Peter Pan," which seems to be a code name for PayPal.

Prosecutors allege the couple had access to at least $130,000 in mid-April, just before Zimmerman was freed from the Seminole County jail on $150,000 bail.

The couple's bank statements were also released Monday. They show numerous transfers between the PayPal account, George Zimmerman's bank account and his wife's account.

The posted transfers from Pay­Pal to Zimmerman's account begin April 9 with two small transfers. On April 12, records show one transfer of $5,880, followed by seven transfers of $9,900.

One such transfer was posted the day before Zimmerman's April 20 bail hearing. Two more are dated April 23, the day he was released from the Seminole County jail.

On April 16, the same time prosecutors say the Zimmermans were talking in code on the phone about money transfers, records show numerous transfers out of Zimmerman's account.

Bank records show the Zimmermans were careful to keep the transfers under $10,000. Several transfers were in the amounts of $9,990 or $9,999.

The calls released by prosecutors document Zimmerman's instructions for money transfers, but they also reveal him to be calm, confident and patient.

Neither he nor his wife say anything angry, ugly or racist. They make no references to Trayvon Martin or to the criminal charge Zimmerman faces, second-degree murder.

In a call April 12, the day after his arrest, Zimmerman says he is thrilled by all the money and support his website has generated.

"Oh, man, that feels good," he told his wife.

"What?" asks his wife.

"That there are people in America that care," he said.

"Yeah they do," she answered.

A few moments later, she said, "After all this is over, you're going to be able to have a great life."

"We will," he corrected her.

"Yeah, we will."

"I'm excited," he said.

Three days later, they talk about how much they love each other.

"Okay, I love you," Zimmerman tells his wife. "I love you more, babe," she said.

During one of their conversations, Zimmerman asks his wife to get a vest for him, her and defense attorney Mark O'Mara, a likely reference to bulletproof vests.

They make reference to a "safety counselor," someone who's apparently giving them advice on how to stay hidden and safe.

They discuss a five-bedroom house that they hoped to lease for a month, cellphone features and their confidence in O'Mara.

The two also discussed how to get him safely out of jail. Shellie Zimmerman said one possibility was having someone drive him to an airport parking garage.

"We could have two cars, we could have two rented cars," Zimmerman told his wife.

As for hiding him inside the vehicle, "Well, I have my hoodie," he said, a possible joke, referring to the hooded sweatshirt Martin wore the night Zimmerman shot him.

In a call April 16, Shellie Zimmerman told her husband he is a "special and amazing role model to people," to which he replied, "I wish, I wish I were."

Prosecutors in the past two weeks had released a good bit of information about the jailhouse calls. That's because they used them to convince Circuit Judge Kenneth Lester Jr. to order Zimmerman back to jail and to charge Shellie Zimmerman with perjury.

Corey's office alleges that Shellie Zimmerman knew she and her husband had access to $155,000 that had been donated by supporters responding to his request for help on a website.

But when she was asked about it April 20 at his bail hearing, she said she and her husband were broke.

The Seminole County Sheriff's Office typically records inmate phone calls. Prosecutors listened to them, and those are the six calls released Monday.

Zimmerman's next court date is June 29, another bail hearing. O'Mara's witness list includes two bail bondsmen but no family members.

'I have my hoodie'

ZIMMERMAN: We could have two cars. We could have two rented cars.

SHELLIE: That's true. The one that we're gonna drive in. . . . So leave mine home.


SHELLIE: Get the one that we're gonna drive in, and then get the SUV, I don't know if they black out SUVs though. . . .

ZIMMERMAN: Doesn't matter.

SHELLIE: Oh, okay. 'Cause you could always like lay down or something.

ZIMMERMAN: Yeah, exactly. Well, I have my hoodie.

SHELLIE: Mm hmm, mm hmm.

In jail phone calls, George Zimmerman talks of love, hiding and money 06/18/12 [Last modified: Tuesday, June 19, 2012 7:11am]
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