On Monday, George Zimmerman was released from a Florida county jail on $150,000 bail in the second-degree murder of teenager Trayvon Martin. His family put up 10 percent to secure his release as it was claimed he didn’t have the funds.
However, it has now come to light that his website, which he begun before turning himself in, has amassed $204,000 in donations.
The judge today said he would delay ruling on the request, in part because he does not know if he has authority to say how the money can be used.
Here are the latest developments that have our blood boiling.
The prosecution in the second-degree murder case against George Zimmerman asked a Florida judge Friday to raise Zimmerman’s bond in light of recent revelations that a website for his defense raised more than $200,000.
Circuit Judge Kenneth Lester said he wants to know more about the money before he decides whether to adjust the bond. The judge said he will make a decision at a later date.
Zimmerman’s attorney Mark O’Mara revealed Thursday night that his client’s website had raised about $204,000 in donations, adding that the money has been placed in an account that can’t be accessed directly by Zimmerman or his family.
O’Mara told the judge the money is currently in a trust fund that he controls and Zimmerman cannot access.
The website, which was created before Zimmerman turned himself in, has been shut down by O’Mara, who told the court he was not aware of the money it had raised when he spoke at Zimmerman’s bond hearing last week. The site included pictures, quotes and a page asking for donations via PayPal.
Zimmerman, 28, the former neighborhood watch volunteer, was released early Monday from a Florida county jail on $150,000 bail. His family put up 10 percent to secure his release.
Martin’s family was distressed to hear Zimmerman had raised so much money, considering the bond was set by the judge based on his family’s limited wealth, their attorney said.
“They tried to portray themselves as indigent that they did not have any money,” Martin family attorney Benjamin Crump said, according to CNN.
“We think that the court should revoke his bond immediately and he should be held accountable for misleading the court,” he added.
At the bond hearing last week, Zimmerman’s wife told the court she did not know how much money the website had collected in donations, adding that her brother-in-law helped set it up. She said the family is “trying to scrape up anything that we possibly can.”
According to CNN, O’Mara said Zimmerman’s defense costs could reach $1 million.
“You can really go through a lot of money on a case like this, with the intensity of it,” he said.
At the hearing Friday, the judge said he wouldn’t place a gag order on Zimmerman’s attorney, denying prosecutor Bernie de la Rionda’s request. The prosecutor had complained to the court that O’Mara had been talking about the facts of the case to the media.
Zimmerman says Martin attacked him and he shot in self-defense. He was not charged for more than six weeks, sparking national protests. Martin was black; Zimmerman’s father is white and his mother is Hispanic.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.