Photo by Gary W. Green/AFP/Getty Images.
UPDATE: George Zimmerman, the man charged with murdering Trayvon Martin, voluntarily surrendered to police Sunday and returned to the Seminole County jail in Sanford, Fla., two days after a judge revoked his bail, reports the Los Angeles Times. Prosecutors had accused Zimmerman and his wife of lying to the court about their finances, failing to mention more than $100,000 they had raised through a website, notes the Associated Press.
“He is quiet and cooperative,” Seminole County Sheriff Don Eslinger told reporters, according to the Orlando Sentinel. Zimmerman’s attorneys say they will ask for a new bond hearing Monday, and they expressed optimism that his voluntary surrender would prove he is in no way a flight risk. The attorneys insist the money Zimmerman has raised is in an independent trust and can’t be accessed directly.
Saturday, June 2: George Zimmerman’s credibility is crucial if he has any chance of getting jurors to believe that he shot 17-year-old Trayvon Martin in self-defense. His ability to portray himself as trustworthy may have been dealt a critical blow Friday when a judge ordered Zimmerman back in jail, saying he and his wife had lied to the court about their finances, reports the Associated Press. He has until Sunday to turn himself in to authorities.
Zimmerman’s attorneys could argue that the information was irrelevant to the trial but the issue is particularly important in efforts to get a judge to dismiss the charges without a jury. As it stands now, Zimmerman will likely have to stay in jail at least until next year as his attorney says a trial may not happen until 2013, reports USA Today.
Friday, June 1: George Zimmerman has 48 hours to turn himself in to police and return to jail.
A Florida judge on Friday revoked the 28-year-old neighborhood watch volunteer's bond, granting a motion filed earlier in the day by prosecutors who accused Zimmerman and his wife, Shellie, of lying to the court about his finances to secure a lower bond.
Zimmerman is charged with second-degree murder for shooting and killing 17-year-old Trayvon Martin, something that Zimmerman claims was done in self-defense.
During Zimmerman's original bond hearing in April, Shellie testified that she and her husband had limited funds to pay for his bail and Circuit Judge Kenneth Lester ultimately allowed Zimmerman to be released on a $150,000 bond. Several days later, however, Zimmerman's attorney acknowledged that his client had raised more than $200,000 from a website, a sum that was not disclosed during the bond hearing. (Prosecutors say the PayPal account in question had about $135,000 in it at the time of the hearing, according to the Associated Press.)
Zimmerman's defense has argued that its failure to alert the court to that account was simply an innocent misunderstanding, but the prosecution successfully convinced the judge that it was intentionally hidden. "The court was led to believe that they didn't have a single penny," said prosecutor Bernie De La Rionda. "If this wasn't relevant to bond then why did they lie about it? I don't know what other words to use besides that it was a blatant lie."
ABC News reports that during Friday's hearing the prosecution also aired recordings of a cryptic conversation Zimmerman had with his wife earlier this year during which the couple appears to be talking in code about his possession of a second passport, which he secured roughly two weeks after he shot and killed Martin. The AP notes, however, that concern was dismissed by the judge "as the equivalent of someone who has lost a driver's license, applies for a new one and then finds the old driver's license."