George Zimmerman bail hearing: How much money does he have?
George Zimmerman is back in court Friday for another bail hearing. Prosecutors may ask for a $1 million bond after Zimmerman lied about his assets at the last bail hearing.
(AP Photo/Orlando Sentinel, Joshua C. Cruey, Pool, File)
¬†The judge who threw George Zimmerman back in jail four weeks ago, stopping just short of calling him and his wife liars, will listen again Friday to Zimmerman‚Äôs plea to be freed.
Circuit Judge Kenneth Lester Jr. is expected to say yes, but it‚Äôs not clear how much bail he‚Äôll ask Zimmerman to post. Last time, the judge set bail at $150,000 but that was before he learned about an online fundraising campaign raking in $1,000 a day.
Friday‚Äôs hearing will likely be far different from the one April 20 at which Lester first said yes to Zimmerman‚Äôs release.
Back then, the prime witnesses were Zimmerman‚Äôs family: his wife, father and mother, who testified by phone.
What his wife said that day ultimately led to her arrest earlier this month on a perjury charge that‚Äôs pending.
Special Prosecutor Angela Corey alleges that Shellie Zimmerman, 25, lied when she told the judge she and her husband were broke. The day she testified, according to records Corey produced last week, Shellie Zimmerman had $57,000 in her personal bank account.
Shellie Zimmerman is not on Friday‚Äôs witness list. Defense attorney Mark O‚ÄôMara has indicated he‚Äôll call two witnesses, both bail bondsmen.
George Zimmerman is charged with second-degree murder for killing Trayvon Martin on Feb. 26 in Sanford in what has become one of the most prominent civil-rights criminal cases in the country. Zimmerman, 28, says he acted in self-defense.
Martin‚Äôs parents, Tracy Martin and Sybrina Fulton, plan to be at Friday‚Äôs hearing.
‚ÄúWe‚Äôre waiting to see if Zimmerman might take the stand,‚ÄĚ their attorney Benjamin Crump said Thursday. ‚ÄúIt‚Äôll be an interesting day tomorrow.‚ÄĚ
Martin‚Äôs parents were at Zimmerman‚Äôs first bond hearing and listened stone-faced when he took the witness stand and issued a short, emotionless apology to them.
Afterward Crump said they were devastated by the judge‚Äôs decision to free Zimmerman on bail.
Although Zimmerman testified briefly at that hearing, he made no attempt to correct what his wife said about the family‚Äôs finances.
That, according to the judge, was a mistake.
‚Äú... He has now demonstrated that he does not properly respect the law or the integrity of the judicial process,‚ÄĚ wrote the judge. Zimmerman and his wife had transferred $135,000 between accounts in the days prior to the bond hearing, the judge noted.
At Friday‚Äôs hearing, prosecutor Bernie de la Rionda is expected to again ask the judge to keep Zimmerman locked up, and, if not that, to set bail at $1 million.
O‚ÄôMara argued in paperwork filed earlier this week that Zimmerman broke no rules while he was free on bail and that he surrendered when the judge revoked bond. The defendant realizes now that remaining silent about all that money rolling in was a mistake, O‚ÄôMara wrote.
Late Thursday, the judge said yes to allowing Zimmerman to wear street clothes and no shackles at Friday‚Äôs hearing.
Federal court records show that in July 2007, Zimmerman failed to show up for a deposition in a federal civil lawsuit he had filed against his employer and, as a consequence, was fined $10,000.
Zimmerman had sued Aames Funding Corp. of Maitland, alleging he had been cheated out of overtime pay. He wound up with a check for $18,220, according to court records ‚ÄĒ but never paid the fine.
Attorneys for more than a dozen news companies will be at Friday‚Äôs hearing, arguing for the release of several public records, including 150 phone calls Zimmerman made from jail and the statement of ‚Äúwitness 9.‚ÄĚ
She‚Äôs thought to be Zimmerman‚Äôs former girlfriend, who called Sanford police two days after Trayvon‚Äôs shooting and told them Zimmerman has ‚Äúracist ideologies,‚ÄĚ according to a police report.
The judge earlier ruled that both of those things should be released.