George Zimmerman, the neighborhood watch captain charged with murdering Trayvon Martin, has been sent back to jail after failing to report that he raised a substantial sum via his website, TheRealGeorgeZimmerman.com.
During Zimmerman’s initial bail hearing, his wife claimed that the family didn’t have much wealth, prompting the judge to set the bail at $150,000. Zimmerman was subsequently released on bail and went into hiding at an undisclosed location to protect his personal well-being, according to the Associated Press.
However, Zimmerman’s legal team made it known during an interview last week that Zimmerman had raised at least $200,000 through online donations.
The prosecution in the case then claimed that Zimmerman raised $135,000 through donations collected on his site by the time of his bail hearing and collected another $69,000 afterwards. Prosecutors have also suggested that Zimmerman spoke to his wife about the online donations using code words while in custody to avoid tipping off authorities to the money’s existence.
For Circuit Judge Kenneth Lester, that was enough to revoke Zimmerman’s $150,000 bail and order him back into custody late last week. Zimmerman complied and returned to Seminole County Jail on Sunday afternoon.
Zimmerman’s legal team is arguing that their client failed to report the online donations because he was confused.
“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,” said Attorney Mark O’Mara, part of Zimmerman’s legal team, in a statement.
Zimmerman will remain in jail until at least next Monday due to scheduling and procedural reasons. His first website, which collected donations via PayPal, is now offline, and his legal team has started a new one as well as social media accounts in its place.
Zimmerman is charged with second-degree murder for shooting and killing Martin in a Sanford, Fla. community where Zimmerman was part of the neighborhood watch and Martin was a visitor. Zimmerman has pleaded not guilty and his defense is arguing self-defense. The highly emotional case set off a social media firestorm earlier this year, capturing the attention of the nation and the world. A george zimmerman, trayvon martin, US
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