A Florida judge has revoked the bond of George Zimmerman, the volunteer neighborhood watchman accused of killing teen Trayvon Martin, on the grounds that Zimmerman misled the court about his finances.
During Zimmerman’s bail hearing in April, his family testified they had limited funds, prosecutors said on Friday during court proceedings broadcast live.
Zimmerman’s wife “said she had no money, but in fact she did,” said prosecutor Bernardo de la Rionda. He pointed to $135,000 in funds the couple had raised from the public that was not disclosed during the hearing.
“It was misleading and I don’t know what other words to use except it was a blatant lie,” said de la Rionda.
Defense lawyer Mark O’Mara said it was a misunderstanding, and Zimmerman was unclear about how he could use the money. His office has been keeping close tabs on the funds. “We have kept an exact ledger of every penny that he spent,” said O’Mara.
In revoking the bond, Judge Kenneth R. Lester Jr. said Zimmerman “can’t sit back and obtain the benefits of a lower bond or circumstances based upon … material falsehoods.”
Prosecutors also said Zimmerman did not disclose that he had a second passport. Zimmerman had replaced a passport he lost only to find the original later. O’Mara said that he had kept it since the bail hearing, and the judge dismissed the concern.
Zimmerman had been ordered to surrender himself in 48 hours. He had been out on $150,000 bail and pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder, claiming self defense.
Benjamin Crump, the Martin family attorney, said the teen’s parents will welcome the news.
“They’ve always believed that if the shoe was on the other foot that Trayvon Martin would have been put in jail on Day 1 and he would have not been given bail,” Crump said live on CNN.
Crump also said he believes the turn of events could be an indicator in the case against Zimmerman.
“We fully expect that the special prosecutor will make George Zimmerman’s credibility be front and center in this entire case,” he told reporters.