Orlando, FL - New developments in the Trayvon Martin murder case
The wife of defendant George Zimmerman was reportedly arrested on Tuesday afternoon and charged with one count of perjury.
25-year-old Shellie Zimmerman, who has since posted a $1,000 bond, is accused of lying about the $200,000-plus her husband had collected in donations through his website set up to solicit financial help for living expenses.
Presidng Judge Kenneth Lester revoked Zimmerman's bail on June 1 for lying about the money stashed in a PayPal account and concealing a second passport. The Zimmermans did not reveal this large sum collected from online supporters. In fact, they both told the court they were broke during his bond hearing in April.
His lawyer Mark O'Mara also claimed he did not know of the money until after the hearing when his client was freed on $150,000 bond. He later told CNN AC360's host, Anderson Cooper that he did know of the website and only learned about the money when he told his client they had to shut down the site. He said it was then Zimmerman asked him "what to do with the money." O'Mara said he immediately took control of the funds and set it up properly to help with his defense.
O'Mara shut down the site but has since opened another to do more of the same.
According to ABC TV 7, GZlegalcase.com collects about $1,000 a day in donations. Supporters of his client can log on to donate or ask questions about the case. O'Mara has also opened Facebook and Twitter accounts.
Wife Shellie was heard during recorded prison converstations, discussing the hidden money with her husband in code, after telling the court that they were broke during her satellite testimony at the bail hearing. Zimmerman was secretly taped instructing his wife to use some of the money to pay off credit cards like American Express and Sam's Club. His mother and father, who also testified via satellite, told the court that they didn't have much money, either.
Shellie reportedly transfered large sums of money from the PayPal account to her personal account. According to the Huffington Post Blackvoices, court documents show that between April 16 and 19, a few days before Zimmerman was granted bail, his wife transfered more than $74,000 to her account. That wasn't all she did. Shellie reportedly made eight transfers, four in the amount of $9,990 , another two for $9,999 and two more for $7,500 each. When Zimmerman was released on $150,000, less than they had stashed away, the brazen transfer of large sums of money continued.
Bank statements reportedly show that on April 24, four days after the defendant was released, wife Shellie made a huge transfer of $85,000 to her husband's account.
The obscene and macabre aspect of this behavior is not lost on many who say that the Zimmermans were profiting from the death of Martin, while at the same time one of them is charged with his murder.
Prosecutor De La Rionda called what the Zimmermans did "a blatant lie" during last Friday's hearing when bail was subsequently revoked.
The 28-year-old neighborhood watchman is currently behind bars for a second time in this case, charged with second-degree murder in the shooting death of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin. Martin was fatally shot on Feb. 26 as he was walking home form a nearby 7-Eleven.
Zimmerman claims he shot the teen in self-defense, but the prosecution says he profiled Martin, followed him and shot him. 911 dispatcher had told the watchman not to follow the young man he called in about acting "suspicious," and the state prosecutor, Angela Corey, said the tragedy could have been avoided if Zimmerman hadn't followed Martin that night.