George Zimmerman's New Bond Set at $1 Million
George Zimmerman could find himself out on bail once again, if he can make his new $1 million bond. After being arrested on charges of second-degree murder for the death of Miami Gardens teen Trayvon Martin, the Sanford, Florida man was released in April on $150,000 bail. That bail was revoked, though, after he and his wife lied to a judge about their finances and the existence of a second passport in his name. He was ordered back to jail earlier this month.
Today, Circuit Judge Kenneth Lester Jr. granted Zimmerman bond once again. This time, it's set at $1 million, almost seven times more than the original $150,000 bond.
"By any definition, the defendant has flaunted the system," Judge Lester wrote, according to the Orlando Sentinel. "It appears to this court that the defendant is manipulating the system for his own benefit."
Zimmerman and his wife Shellie lied in court about their finances and failed to disclose more than $100,000 they had received from online contributions from supporters. Zimmerman also didn't disclose he had a second passport. Shellie Zimmerman was also subsequently arrested on perjury charges.
"Notably, together with the passport, the money only had to be hidden for a short time for him to leave the country if the defendant made a quick decision to flee," Judge Lester wrote. "It is entirely reasonable for this court to find that, but for the requirement that he be placed on electronic monitoring, the defendant and his wife would have fled the United States with at least $130,000 of other people's money."
Zimmerman's defense fund has reached $210,000. He will likely need to pay a bonding company only about 10 percent of the bond to gain freedom, but details about how and when Zimmerman will bond out were not immediately clear.
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you'll never miss Miami New Times' biggest stories.