Judge Sets George Zimmerman’s New Bond at $1 Million, with Conditions
George Zimmerman’s new bond has been set at $1 million, a Seminole County judge ruled Thursday.
It is the second time Zimmerman, Travon Martin’s shooter has been granted bond.
In April, Zimmerman was released on $150,000 bond, but Judge Kenneth Lester revoked it and ordered him back to jail last month, after it was determined that he and his wife Shelly Zimmerman were not truthful about their financial situation.
Earlier, prosecutors provided bank records that showed on April 20, the day of Zimmerman’s original bond hearing, he had about $135,000 cash at his disposal, even as his family professed to be broke. Taped jailhouse phone calls between him and his wife showed he had instructed her to transfer money he had raised online out of his bank account into hers.
On June 29, Zimmerman appeared for a second bond hearing at which time his defense attorney, Mark O’Mara presented evidence about his good behavior while on electronic monitoring after his release on bond. He said that Zimmerman was confused and fearful and that’s why he did not speak up about the money collected through the website he had established. O’Mara also presented substantial evidence regarding the facts of the case in an effort to show that the case against Zimmerman is weak.
But in his “Order Setting Bail” Thursday, Lester said that it is Zimmerman who has tried to manipulate the system and that “attacking the State’s case is of limited relevance at this stage of the proceedings.”
“The Defendant has tried to manipulate the system when he has been presented the opportunity to do so,” Lester wrote in the Order. “He is an adult by every legal definition; Trayvon Martin is the only male whose youth is relevant to this case.”
Lester continued: “Contrary to the image presented by the Defendant not by evidence but only by argument of counsel, it appears to this Court that the Defendant is manipulating the system to his own benefit. The evidence is clear that the Defendant and his wife acted in concert, but primarily at the Defendant’s direction, to conceal cash holdings.”
Citing case law in setting Zimmerman’s bond at $1 million, Lester took into consideration a range of factors, including, the nature and circumstances of the offense charged; weight of the evidence against the defendant; family ties, including length of residence in the community, employment history and financial resources; and the defendant’s conduct, past and present.
“The increased bail is not a punishment,” Lester wrote in the bail order. “It is meant to allay this court’s concern that the defendant intended to flee the jurisdiction and a lesser amount would not ensure his presence in court.”
In addition to the $1 million bond, Zimmerman will have to comply with several other conditions, including:
- wearing an electronic monitoring device
- not enter the property of the Orlando-Sanford International Airport
- not open or maintain a bank account
- obey a curfew between 6:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m.
- check in with the Pre-trial Release Department every 48 hours
- not have contact with the victim’s family, directly or indirectly
- refrain from criminal activity of any kind
- not consume alcohol
- not leave Seminole County without prior authorization by the Court
- not apply for or obtain a passport
Zimmerman, 28, is charged with second degree murder in the shooting death of Martin, 17, in late February. Zimmerman has pleaded not guilty and said, he shot the teen in self defense.
Zimmerman’s wife, Shelly, has been charged with perjury for lying about the couple’s finances at his first bond hearing in April. Her bond was set at $1,000.