Update: George Zimmerman turned himself in to Sanford, Florida police and is now in jail, according to a tweet from his legal team.
The Seminole County jail updated its website to show Zimmerman is now in custody as of 50 minutes ago, and he has $500 on his books. Zimmerman’s bond was revoked after Zimmerman and his wife claimed he was indigent and couldn’t afford bail. However, recordings of jail house phone calls shows the Zimmerman’s had full access to at least $155,000 just days before the bond hearing.
This post was originally written June 3, 2012 @ 1:30 p.m.
George Zimmerman has returned to Florida to surrender to Sanford police after a judge revoked his bond Friday for lying to the court. He has until 2:30 p.m. ET Sunday to turn himself in.
Zimmerman, 28, is charged with 2nd degree murder in the February shooting death of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin inside Zimmerman’s gated community in Sanford.
Zimmerman returned to Florida late Saturday evening from an undisclosed location according to his attorney, Mark O’Mara, on Zimmerman’s legal defense website.
The self-appointed neighborhood watchman’s bond was revoked after a judge determined that Zimmerman and his wife, Shellie, spoke in code during jail house conversations in an effort to conceal large amounts of cash in their bank accounts days before his bond hearing.
During a hearing on Friday, state attorney Bernie de la Rionda presented a motion requesting Zimmerman’s $150,000 bond be revoked or increased.
“This court was led to believe that they didn’t have a single penny,” said Rionda, adding that Zimmerman’s wife had “flat out lied” during the April 20 bond hearing.
Additionally, the motion stated that Zimmerman had a second passport which was undisclosed to the court after O’Mara surrendered Zimmerman’s expired passport in April.
In response to the motion, O’Mara claimed he wasn’t aware of the 2nd passport or of the $155,000 in public donations sitting in the Zimmermans’s bank accounts days before the bond hearing where he declared Zimmerman indigent.
“There was no deceit,” he said, pointing out that Zimmerman had not used the money for anything. But O’Mara conveniently left out the fact that Zimmerman had already spent $50,000 of the money prior to his arrest in April.
O’Mara said Zimmerman revealed the existence of the donations to him only after he was released from Seminole County jail in April.
O’Mara made the absurd claims in open court Friday, even though the news media and the public were aware of Zimmerman’s website and the $200,000 in donations collected via PayPal.
O’Mara said the Zimmermans were “confused” about whether they had access to the funds. But audio of jail house conversations between Zimmerman and his wife clearly shows that Zimmerman was in full control of the transfer of funds from his PayPal website to his wife’s bank account.
Zimmerman is captured on recordings speaking to a bank employee from his jail cell. He is heard telling his wife, Shellie, to withdraw “less than $10″ — meaning less than $10,000 — from the account to keep with her.
At one point, Shellie reminds Zimmerman that the public donations are for his legal defense.
O’Mara will request a new bond hearing next week, but since Zimmerman’s credibility is clearly in doubt, the judge may order him to sit in jail until his trial.
“We fully expect that the special prosecutor will make George Zimmerman’s credibility front and center in this entire case,” said Benjamin Crump, attorney for Trayvon’s parents.
“And whatever dishonesty that comes forth by George Zimmerman that they can prove, you can best believe it will be the issue of this case, and rightfully so,” Crump added.
O’Mara initially waived his client’s right to a speedy trial in April when Zimmerman was out on bond.
O’Mara now writes that “It is anticipated, though not certain, that the case will not be ready for trial in early 2013,” — an indication that O’Mara will request a speedy trial if Zimmerman is not granted a new bond next week.
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