Today, a Florida judge reportedly set a $1 million bail bond for George Zimmerman, the man who killed 17 year-old Trayvon Martin, in an attempt to keep him in the United States.
If released on bail, Zimmerman would also have to submit to electronic monitoring.
A Florida judge today set a $1 million bond for George Zimmerman, who is charged with killing Trayvon Martin, saying he set the substantially higher bail amount out of concern that Zimmerman might try to flee the country. USA TODAY’s Yamiche Alcindor reports that Circuit Court Judge Kenneth Lester ordered that Zimmerman remain in Seminole County and submit to electronic monitoring at his own expense. Zimmerman would be required to put up 10% to be freed. It was not immediately clear how long it would take for him to leave jail. (USA Today)
Despite raising his bond by $850,000, Judge Lester claims it is not to punish Zimmerman.
“It appears to this court that .. the money only had to be hidden for a short time for him to leave, if the defendant made a quick decision to flee,” Lester wrote. The defense attorney Mark O’Mara “presented no evidence to negate the court’s impression that the movement of funds and false testimony was to aid and assist the defendant in fleeing the jurisdiction.” He said it looked to him that the only reason Zimmerman didn’t make a run for it, was because he was tethered to an electronic monitoring device. His plans, Lester said, “were thwarted.” “The increased bond is not a punishment,” Lester added. “It is meant to allay the court’s concern that the defendant intended to flee the jurisdiction and a lesser amount would not ensure his presence in court.” (Miami Herald)
Recently, Zimmerman’s jail phone calls to his wife were released to the public.
In a half dozen phone calls between a locked-up George Zimmerman and his wife, the couple talk about their love for each other, buying bulletproof vests and how to move a flood of donations into their personal accounts, recordings released Monday reveal. Prosecutors allege the six phone calls prove that Shellie Zimmerman lied when she told a judge that the couple was broke before her husband was granted bail in April. (Orlando Sentinel)
The calls suggested Zimmerman’s wife was aware of their $100,000-plus funds despite telling a judge they were broke at an April bail bond hearing.
The calls made public by prosecutors Monday could play a crucial role in George Zimmerman’s second bond hearing next week. Zimmerman was released on $150,000 bond in April, several days after the jailhouse calls. At his bond hearing, his wife, Shellie, testified that she didn’t know how much money had been raised from a website created for his legal defense and that the couple had virtually no money to pay Zimmerman’s high bail. However, prosecutors say the calls show George and Shellie Zimmerman knew that roughly $135,000 had been raised by the site. (CBS News)