By Rene Stutzman and Jeff Weiner, The Orlando Sentinel –
SANFORD, Fla. — Circuit Judge Kenneth Lester has revoked George Zimmerman’s bond in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin. Zimmerman now has 48 hours to turn himself in to authorities.
The decision came after the revelation that Zimmerman and his wife may have conspired to lie about thousands of dollars in donations they’d collected before his bond hearing.
In a new motion, prosecutors accused Zimmerman and his wife of lying to the judge during a bond hearing about money they collected for his defense. Prosecutors allege Zimmerman’s wife knew about the donations her husband had collected through a PayPal account, but didn’t mention the money at his bond hearing.
The account ultimately collected about $200,000, his attorney later revealed.
“Defendant has intentionally deceived the court with the assistance of his wife,” the motion says. “During the jail phone calls both of them spoke in code to hide what they were doing.”
Prosecutor Bernie de la Rionda told the judge Friday that “this court was led to believe that they didn’t have a single penny” at the earlier bond hearing.
Zimmerman’s wife “flat out lied to this court,” de la Rionda said. Lester agreed, revoking Zimmerman’s bond. He must turn himself in, the judge said.
The bond issue came after Lester heard argument about whether he should seal key evidence in the case from the public, including the names of witnesses and the statements Zimmerman made to law enforcement.
De la Rionda started out arguing for the sealing of the names of civilian witnesses in the case.
“These witnesses are scared to death to comply,” he said. De la Rionda acknowledged that such information is usually public in Florida, but said “this is a very unique case.”
After de la Rionda went over other evidence the state wants sealed, defense attorney Mark O’Mara spoke in concurrence. “There’s no question that we’re in a new age,” he said.
O’Mara argued that his client’s statements should fall under the exemption for confessions, and should not be released, echoing the state’s motion.
However, media lawyer Scott Ponce argued that Zimmerman’s statements are not confessions. Zimmerman admits to shooting Martin, but says he did so in self-defense.