George Zimmerman turned himself in to law enforcement officials for Seminole County, Florida, Sunday at 1:25 p.m. Zimmerman is now being held without bail at the John E. Polk Correctional Facility in Sanford, outside Orlando. On Friday at 2 p.m., Judge Kenneth Lester revoked Zimmerman’s bail and gave him two days to surrender.
Judge Lester said he believed Zimmerman and his wife had lied to the court in April about their finances to obtain a lower bond. At the time of his first bail bond hearing in April, George Zimmerman and his wife Shellie indicated they had only limited financial resources, saying she was a full-time student and he wasn’t working. In fact at the time of the hearing, Zimmerman and his wife controlled at least $135,000 in donations Zimmerman solicited over a website in the days preceding his arrest in the high-profile case, 44 days after the February 26 killing of Trayvon Martin. Zimmerman mentioned the account with the website monies to his attorney five days after the bail hearing.
Zimmerman, 28, a neighborhood watch volunteer, encountered 17 yr. old Trayvon Martin on a rainy evening February 26 behind townhouses in the gated Sanford community. Zimmerman shot and killed Martin after a brief scuffle. The death of Trayvon Martin became a high-profile case, involving nationwide outrage, protests and extensive media coverage from different perspectives. Prosecutors say Zimmerman tracked down Martin – who was visiting his father in the same neighborhood – because he suspected the teen was a burglar; some say Zimmerman targeted Martin because he was African American. Zimmerman, however, told police that Martin attacked him first and he shot the teen in self-defense. Police initially released Zimmerman and declined to press charges because they thought Zimmerman could not be charged under Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” self-defense law. Zimmerman has pleaded not guilty to the charge of second-degree murder in the fatal shooting of Martin, who was unarmed.
Zimmerman’s Attorney, Mark O’Mara, wrote on the website that their legal team hosts for the Zimmerman case that he will request another bond hearing. “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. During his time out of jail, Zimmerman had been hiding in an undisclosed location for safety reasons.
At issue here is George Zimmerman’s credibility as a witness. If the prosecution can establish that Zimmerman lies, using the first bail bond hearing as an example, who’s to say Zimmerman acted in self-defense? Martin is dead, and cannot speak for himself. Zimmerman’s must convince the court that his claim of self-defense in Martin’s death is believable. His case will hinge on examples of his character and judgment.