Judge Sets Bail at $1 Million for Zimmerman, Wife Charged with Perjury
Neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman, who was accused of killing 17-year old Trayvon Martin back on February 26, 2012, has been issued a bail amount of $1 million on Thursday. This is the second time Circuit Judge Kenneth Lester has issued a ruling over bail amount for Zimmerman. The first was set last month in the amount of $150,000, but was later revoked by the judge after prosecutors told the judge that Zimmerman and his wife had withheld information from the courts regarding their financial status during an April bond hearing.
It was also discovered that Zimmerman had created a website to take donations for his legal defense and had raised over $135,000 at the time of the first hearing. Shellie Zimmerman had told the court that she was a student and her husband was unemployed leaving them with 'limited resources.' She is currently out on $1,000 bail and is awaiting trial on July 31.
Judge Lester added that he felt George Zimmerman's actions were suggestive of an intent to flee charges when he set the new bail amount. "Under any definition, the defendant has flaunted the system," Lester said. "The defendant has tried to manipulate the system when he has been presented the opportunity to do so."
George Zimmerman is charged with second-degree murder for killing an unarmed youth, Trayvon Martin, at a gated apartment community in Sanford, Florida. He continues to claim the shooting was self-defense under Florida's "Stand Your Ground" Law, which states that a person may be justified in using force to defend one's self in the event of an unlawful attack. Zimmerman entered a plea of not guilty in the case.
Martin's parents have claimed this was a hate crime, and that their son was targeted.
In the days between the shooting and Zimmerman's arrest, there were nationwide protests and the case led to both the departure of the Sanford police chief and a probe by the U.S. Justice Department. Also, Florida's "Stand Your Ground" law has undergone scrutiny since the shooting.
[via Huffington Post]