After three hours of arguments that seemed more like the lead-up to a trial, a Florida judge let George Zimmerman’s bond hearing end with out issuing an immediate decision on whether he would be freed to await trial.
Florida Circuit Court Judge Kenneth Lester has not given any clue when he will issue a ruling on whether or not to grant bail to Zimmerman, who stands accused of second degree murder in the shooting death of 17-year-old Miami high schooler Trayvon Martin. He simply stated he needed to take time to look at the evidence presented.
The bond was revoked on June 1 based on what Lester considered a deception on the part of Zimmerman and his wife Shellie in what they had originally told the court about the amount of money they had to make bail. He was released on April 20 on $150,000 bond, based on the belief the couple had no money to get him out. But when it was reported that more than $200,000 had been collected through a website set up for Zimmerman’s legal defense, Lester locked him back up.
Shellie Zimmerman was charged with perjury on June 13 for failing to reveal the existence of the funds and faces five years in prison and a $5,000 fine if convicted.
Assistant Special Prosecutor Bernie de la Rionda asked Lester to keep Zimmerman in jail and grant no bond because of the way he said the couple schemed. “The court has been presented six interviews in which this defendant spoke to his wife and they used code to make sure anyone listening didn’t know what was going on,” he charged. “He was using his wife as a conduit to do this.”
But Mark O’Mara, Zimmerman’s attorney, said there was no grand conspiracy “to let a mistruth stand.” He asked for Zimmerman’s release on $150,000 as before, noting the defendant had relinquished control of the legal defense fund where the money in question sits. He did concede that the 28-year-old neighborhood watch volunteer should have said something when his wife spoke about the money they had, but argued that he did not constitute a flight risk, nor a danger to the community.
O’Mara did use his time to attack the prosecution’s case, however, calling it “weak” and calling the charge of second-degree murder “improper” due to what he described as strong evidence that Zimmerman had fired in self-defense. Referring to Martin, whose parents Tracy Martin and Sybrina Fulton were present, O’Mara said, “he got shot, and he got killed because of his own doing.”