George Zimmerman must surrender in 48 hours: Judge Says leading everyone…’down a primrose path’
Six weeks after he ordered murder suspect George Zimmerman released on bail, a judge on Friday ordered him locked up again, stopping just short of calling the defendant and his wife liars.
The issue was money: At a bond hearing April 20, Shellie Zimmerman, the defendant’s wife, had testified under oath that the couple didn’t have any savings when, in reality, they had more than $135,000, with more flooding in from supporters who were making contributions via a website Zimmerman set up.
“I don’t know what other word to use,” said prosecutor Bernie de la Rionda. “They lied.”
He called their acts “an egregious violation of the law.”
He had made the same allegation before, at a hearing April 27, and the judge had brushed it aside, but this time the prosecutor had tangible proof: Transcripts of several telephone calls between Zimmerman and his wife while Zimmerman was locked up at the Seminole County Jail.
In them, the couple talk about their finances and transferring money between accounts. During one call April 16, shortly after Shellie Zimmerman had left a credit union, they talked about using that money to post his bail.
“That’s what it’s for,” she told him, according to a portion of the transcript cited by de la Rionda.
Circuit Judge Kenneth Lester Jr. was clearly unhappy.
There was no doubt in his mind, he said, that both George and Shellie Zimmerman knew they had access to pile of money. They were spending it, transferring it and talking about it on a recorded jail phone line.
“They were well aware of the amounts available,” the judge said.