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George Zimmerman back to jail for 'falsehoods.' Will they influence trial?

sheratan 2012/06/02 16:29:44
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SANFORD, Fla. (AP) — The credibility of Trayvon Martin's shooter could be an issue at trial after a judge said that George Zimmerman and his wife lied to the court about their finances to obtain a bond, legal experts say.

That's because the case hinges on jurors believing his account of what happened the night the 17-year-old was killed. Zimmerman wasn't charged in the case until more than a month after the shooting, saying he shot Martin in self-defense under Florida's so-called stand your ground law. Protests were held across the nation, and the case spurred debate about race. Martin was black; Zimmerman's father is white and his mother is from Peru.

The questioning of Zimmerman's truthfulness by the judge on Friday could undermine his credibility if it is brought up at trial. It also may complicate how his defense presents him as a witness, said Orlando-area attorney Randy McClean, who is a former prosecutor.

"The other key witness, unfortunately, is deceased," McClean said. "Basically, Zimmerman is going to be asking the jury to believe his version of the facts. ... As the case stands now, his credibility is absolutely critical to the case."

Zimmerman has pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder for the February shooting. The neighborhood watch volunteer says he shot Martin in self-defense because the unarmed 17-year-old was beating him up after confronting Zimmerman about following him in a gated community outside Orlando.

Witness accounts of the rainy night Martin was shot are spotty. There is no video of the fight, though photos prosecutors have released showed Zimmerman with wounds to his face and the back of his head.

Zimmerman's credibility would be important if O'Mara tries to get a judge without the jury to dismiss the charges based on the law, said Orlando defense attorney David Hill.

"If he was in on something that was not truthfully revealed to the judge, when there is a 'stand your ground' hearing, of course you're going to second-guess him," Hill said.

Both McClean and Hill said O'Mara would be able to challenge the admissibility of the bond revocation at trial by questioning its relevance.

Zimmerman was arrested 44 days after the killing, and during a bond hearing in April, his wife, Shellie, testified that the couple had limited funds available. The hearing also was notable because Zimmerman took the stand and apologized to Martin's parents.

Prosecutors pointed out in their motion that Zimmerman had $135,000 available then. It had been raised from donations through a website he set up, and they suggested more has been collected since and deposited in a bank account.

Shellie Zimmerman was asked about the website at the hearing, but she said she didn't know how much money had been raised. Circuit Judge Kenneth Lester set bail at $150,000. The 28-year-old was freed a few days later after posting $15,000 in cash — which is typical — and has since been in hiding.

Prosecutor Bernie De la Rionda complained Friday, "This court was led to believe they didn't have a single penny. It was misleading and I don't know what words to use other than it was a blatant lie." The judge agreed and ordered Zimmerman returned to jail by Sunday afternoon.

"Does your client get to sit there like a potted plant and lead the court down the primrose path? That's the issue," Lester said. "He can't sit back and obtain the benefit of a lower bond based upon those material falsehoods."

The defense countered that Zimmerman and his wife never used the money for anything, which indicated "there was no deceit." His attorney, Mark O'Mara, said it wouldn't be a problem to bring Zimmerman back into custody by the deadline.

The judge said he would schedule a hearing after Zimmerman is back in custody so he could explain himself.

Police in Sanford did not immediately arrest Zimmerman, citing Florida's "stand your ground" law that gives wide latitude to use deadly force rather than retreat in a fight if people believe they are in danger of being killed or seriously injured.

Benjamin Crump, an attorney for Trayvon Martin's parents, Tracy Martin and Sybrina Fulton, said his clients have always said Zimmerman should remain in jail until trial, which O'Mara said he believed wouldn't be until next year.

Crump was asked if he thought that if Zimmerman would be willing to lie about his finances that he would be willing to lie about what happen the night Martin was killed.

"We fully expect that the special prosecutor will make George Zimmerman's credibility be front and center in this entire case," Crump said. "And whatever dishonesty that comes forth by George Zimmerman that they can prove, you can best believe it will become the issue of this case."

The revocation of Zimmerman's bond also puts pressure on O'Mara to not delay the trial, McClean said.

"When your client is out on bond, the pressure is much lighter to rush to trial ... because your client is sitting at home," he said. "When your client is sitting at the Seminole County Jail, your client is going to want this resolved."
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Top Opinion

  • FAWKES' NOOSE ~ ΔTX 2012/06/02 18:33:49
    Yes
    FAWKES' NOOSE ~ ΔTX
    +4
    Absolutely and they should.

    "ANYTHING you say can be used against you"

    This pompous idiot lied to the Judge in his own Murder Trial which is not only evidence but an actual part of the court record. Why should a jury believe him at all when he claims self defense?

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  • Corky 2012/07/14 04:44:13 (edited)
  • YouSirName 2012/06/05 15:43:45
    Yes
    YouSirName
  • mblack 2012/06/04 04:13:09
    Yes
    mblack
    +2
    Of course. Any decent lawyer will plant the seed that the defendant cannot be trusted. The man was in jail talking in code to his wife about the account. This guy just makes bad decisions.
  • Gloria 2012/06/03 13:35:29
    Undecided
    Gloria
    +1
    No matter what it's still a trial where he can be found guilty or innocent. It's easy for all of us who have opinion to be emotional about it. Emotion & the law have don't work. Examples; Casey Anthony & John Edwards. My grandfather was murdered the day after Armistice Day. The murderer walked on temporary insanity despite he came to the scene with a rifle to shoot my grandfather. He was absolutely as handsome as can be & he had eight children. My widowed grandmother was so distraught she mentally & physically abused my mother. Then my mother did it to me. Can I sue someone about trials gone wrong? No I can just rag my fellow SHs. I hope I am doing a good job!
  • CAROLYN NTARWNJBS 2012/06/03 13:21:40
    Yes
    CAROLYN NTARWNJBS
    All of his behavior should influence the trial.
  • #Justice4Trayvon 629 BLOCKT... 2012/06/02 23:40:02
    Yes
    #Justice4Trayvon 629 BLOCKT CONS
    +1
    His innocence or guilt will be determined by his credibility. Trayvon Martin isn't here to speak for himself. Therefore, he has to convince a jury that his story is true. He's already lied to the court--TWICE! How do you think that's gonna bode for him?
  • FAWKES' NOOSE ~ ΔTX 2012/06/02 18:33:49
    Yes
    FAWKES' NOOSE ~ ΔTX
    +4
    Absolutely and they should.

    "ANYTHING you say can be used against you"

    This pompous idiot lied to the Judge in his own Murder Trial which is not only evidence but an actual part of the court record. Why should a jury believe him at all when he claims self defense?
  • Meako 2012/06/02 17:40:38
    Yes
    Meako
    +2
    He was under oath.... They both lied, what else will they lie about?
  • Sinpac 2012/06/02 17:37:28
    Undecided
    Sinpac
    +1
    It's it funny how in just a few weeks all the 2 cent people have moved on to other hot button topics.
  • #Justic... Sinpac 2012/06/02 23:41:27
    #Justice4Trayvon 629 BLOCKT CONS
    +2
    Yeah it is.
  • Bella 2012/06/02 17:23:42 (edited)
    Yes
    Bella
    +2
    Zimmerman needs the court to believe his story of what happened the night he killed Tratvon Martin and lying to the court isn't helping.
  • D D 2012/06/02 17:04:37
    Yes
    D D
    +1
    If what they are saying he did is true, yes.
  • Schläue~© 2012/06/02 17:04:18
    No
    Schläue~©
    +1
    Because there wont be any full blown trial. This judge caved to pressure and knows damn well that monies collected on a website that explicitly said would be used for LEGAL FEES has nothing to do with posting bail. nor would have Zimmerman been legally allowed to use such funds for that purpose.
  • jujunme Schläue~© 2012/06/02 17:38:20
    jujunme
    +4
    Your buddy Zimmerman is a liar and his credibility is shot to pieces (along with his wife)."caved to pressure", that is about the sickest and most baseless excuse ii've heard so far i would imagine (although you paint yourself as a legal expert) this judge knows a lot more about the law than you do.and just what pressure did he cave to? sneaky coded messages between Zimmerman and his wife regarding the money and his passports? it doesn't matter what that money was for, he claimed he didn't have ANY money period. he misled the court and is going back to jail where he belongs
  • Meako jujunme 2012/06/02 17:44:07
    Meako
    +2
    They were both also under oath...
  • jujunme Meako 2012/06/02 17:51:12
    jujunme
    +3
    Right! so maybe they can share a cell together i guess she didn't know that perjury is a crime..
  • Schläue~© jujunme 2012/06/02 18:24:07
    Schläue~©
    What difference does it make how their conversation was conducted?
    The FACT remains, that the fb website specifically said the collected funds were to be utilized for his LEGAL FEES and living expenses.
    Perhaps you have some spayshul dictionary that defines bail as legal fees?

    Color me crazy but I'm fairly sure that a bond or bail is posted to secure one's freedom during the course of legal proceedings and a guarantee that one will be available for all court dates and comply with the terms of the court and said bondsman.

    His Passport renewal is a non-issue considering he hadn't exhibited any intentions of fleeing during the months leading up to his arrest.

    Fact is, the family did not have bail monies available to them and that is exactly what they testified to.

    Mark O'Mara will argue the same and will completely shred DeeDee's coached testimony if she (or the prosecution) is stupid enough to take the stand and repeat her bullsh!t under oath.
  • #Justic... Schläue~© 2012/06/02 23:47:52
    #Justice4Trayvon 629 BLOCKT CONS
    The issue about his passports has NOTHING to do with "renewal." He obtained a 2nd one after telling the State Dept. that he lost the first one. After the 2nd one was issued he found the first one. He ONLY turned in ONE passport--NOT BOTH OF THEM. That's why he's in trouble on that front ALSO!
  • jujunme Schläue~© 2012/06/03 00:36:46
    jujunme
    "What difference does it make how their conversation was conducted?
    The FACT remains, that the fb website specifically said the collected funds were to be utilized for his LEGAL FEES and living expenses.

    OMG, fairy tells are more believable than the yarns you spin Why don't you do some research on this subject before you play judge here.did you even read the phone conversations between Zimmerman and his wife it's all there in black and white.
  • Schläue~© jujunme 2012/06/03 00:47:23
    Schläue~©
    and?

    They were talking about the transfer of funds. His wife was asked by the judge if she was aware of the account and she confirmed that she was, however, didn't know what the total amount was, which she didn't.

    I understand that you thug supporters are grasping at any straw you can, considering the detective for the prosecution already admitted under oath that they have NO EVIDENCE showing that Zimmerman initiated the contact or that he wasn't returning to his vehicle as he stated.

    Tuff titty said the kitty..... them's the breaks.
  • Dion Pr... Schläue~© 2012/06/12 19:37:49
    Dion Prince
    of course there was no evidence, It was all washed away because the sanford police dept did not collect the evidence.
    even the investigator said he did not believe Zimmerman was telling the truth.
    the investigator, chris sorino did however also state that Zimmerman's head injuries where not conclusive of how he claims it was maid
  • Schläue~© Dion Pr... 2012/06/12 21:05:50
    Schläue~©
    As soon as Martin was pronounced dead by paramedics, the area became a crime scene, was turned over to the Major Crimes unit, cordoned off and the investigation began.

    Angela Corey clarified that during her glowing press conference when she announced the charge.

    Yeah.... I guess Zimmerman had a sudden urge to bounce his skull off of any available object and the eye witness who identified Martin beating his head against the concrete was hallucinating.
  • Dion Pr... Schläue~© 2012/06/13 12:09:30
    Dion Prince
    no witness ever said Martin beat his head against the concrete. THAT my friend is an outright lie. the witnesses stated that Martin was on top of Zimmerman punching him.
  • Schläue~© Dion Pr... 2012/06/13 13:13:35 (edited)
    Schläue~©
    Autopsy results will show how much of Zimmerman's DNA (skin, blood, hair) got up under Martin's fingernails (doesn't take much) which is easily transferred from grabbing the other person. Only Zimmerman's head & hands were exposed.
    Zimmerman's head got dribbled on the concrete, the witness described it as MMA style ground & pound. His detailed deposition says a lot more than what was revealed to the press in the heavily redacted pages.
  • Dion Pr... Schläue~© 2012/06/13 14:42:16
    Dion Prince
    so what about the eye witness report that you made up earlier?
  • Schläue~© Dion Pr... 2012/06/13 14:51:30
    Schläue~©
    I didn't make anything up. Wait until the preliminary hearings begin and you will see.
  • Dion Pr... Schläue~© 2012/06/13 15:30:50
    Dion Prince
    so where did you get the information?
    because the police reports have all shown that no one saw Martin pounding Zimmerman's head on the concrete
  • Schläue~© Dion Pr... 2012/06/13 15:43:28
    Schläue~©
    Those were incident reports and not even close to what the full narrative is. Officer Smith (first responder who relieved Zimmerman of his holstered Kel Tec 9mm and secured him in cuffs) indicates the injuries to Zimmerman as bleeding from nose & back of head, and while in close proximity noticed his back was wet, covered with grass indicating he had been lying on his back.
    Witness statements are a complete different thing and as I said.... wait & see.
  • Dion Pr... Schläue~© 2012/06/13 15:59:16
    Dion Prince
    and the actual lead investigator, Chris Sorino (sanford PD)filled and afidavit stating that he was not convinced with Zimmerman's story . He himself requestedTwice for Zimmerman to be charged. the second request was for manslaughter.
  • Schläue~© Dion Pr... 2012/06/13 16:23:25
    Schläue~©
    Great ...... and?

    He wasn't the first second third or tenth officer to respond on the scene.
    One person;s opinion doesn't outweigh all others.

    Besides, I'm sure he got that from Ayala, who was dispatched first but second to arrive because he sat on his ass for a minute before going enroute to respond.

    I'm sure he was feeling a bit guilty knowing had he got his ass in gear he would have arrived around 7:16:30, would have heard the screams and had a chance to intervene before the shot was fired at 7:16:56.

    I'll bet Martin wishes he would have.
  • Dion Pr... Schläue~© 2012/06/13 17:35:04
    Dion Prince
    criminal investigation 101. patrol officers respond to scenes. Investigators/ detectives are trained to investigate the entire scene develope and process evidence and coordinate with the crime scene etc. NOT the officer who responds
  • Schläue~© Dion Pr... 2012/06/13 17:56:54
    Schläue~©
    No sh!t Sherlock. Wanna explain how ".. Investigators/ detectives are trained to investigate the entire scene develope [sic] "?

    How do they develop something that has already occurred? They can attempt to recreate the unknown events and that's about it.

    First responding officer is perhaps the most vital key in the entire investigation. He was the first one to see the scene as fresh as it gets, since there was nobody who actually witnessed the the initial confrontation or the shot being fired.

    The position of both Martin & Zimmerman, Zim's demeanor, injuries, are critical to ascertain what the most likely scenario was. Detectives can take all the ear-witness and scant eye witness depositions they want but will never have the same picture as what Officer Smith observed.

    Of course, the autopsy shows angle of entry and travel but doesn't confirm the position of the two subjects when the round went off, only what angle the weapon was at, in relation to Martin's wound. And of course, the approximate distance.
  • Dion Pr... Schläue~© 2012/06/13 18:51:37
    Dion Prince
    thats the dumbest thing I have ever heard. the first responding officer is not the most vital in an investigation. the investigator is. he is the person who poors through all the information, including the reports from the responding officer. he is the one who report that he didnt believe Zimmerman. He also wanted the arrest warrant to be issued because of the evidence uncovered. the procecutor didnt want the case. even while the detective had more than a bit of suspicion that there was more than meets the eye in this case. and now we know that it was more than meets the eye. Zimmermans story is Bull. he has shown in at least two instances to have lied to officials
  • Schläue~© Dion Pr... 2012/06/13 19:03:45
    Schläue~©
    I said he was perhaps the most vital key in the entire investigation.

    I'm talking about this particular case. Try to keep up.

    If Corey doesn't withdraw charged or the Judge doesn't dismiss on lack of evidence, O'Mara will devastate them in a jury trial which will not be able to produce a unanimous verdict beyond reasonable doubt.

    By all means, keep your head firmly implanted but I will guarantee you that they will NEVER get any type of conviction on this case.
  • Dion Pr... Schläue~© 2012/06/14 00:36:43
    Dion Prince
    you can't guarantee anything. you have nothing. I would place $20 wager to yourmy favorite charity on your guarantee, but everytime I do to someone on the internet, they ignore the request to send $20 to the charity of my choice when they lose.
  • jujunme jujunme 2012/06/03 01:02:51
    jujunme
    Money transferred to his Paypal account hidden bank accounts and Paypal will transfer funds to the verified owner of the account and doesn't ask what the money is for and the same thing applies to banks .Zimmerman posted that website on FB and what he said there is typical of the liar he is. Come back here after you read the conversations he had with the credit union even while in jail, come back here after you've read a very specific coded conversation he had with his wife,also while in jail.and then tell us how honest he is.

    Mark O'Mara had every chance to explain Zimmerman's use or non use of his funds before his bond was revoked and DIDN'T but of course he isn't you who will spin any story as long as long as Zimmerman comes out smelling like a rose, unfortunately the only thing that smells here is Zimmerman's continued lies.
  • Dion Pr... Schläue~© 2012/06/12 19:32:09
    Dion Prince
    I would agree with you if he simply misplaced his passport and had a second one. but
    Zimmerman claimed his passport was lost or stolen, when in fact he new very well that it was in a safety deposit box the he and his wife where speaking in code about.
    It sounds to me like a person who was prepared to run if things didnt go down the way he hoped they would in court.
    Zimmerman and his wife also had access to the funds at all times.
  • Schläue~© Dion Pr... 2012/06/12 21:12:35
    Schläue~©
    He said the passport was lost or stolen when he applied for the new one which was set to expire in May anyway.
    That's a fairly common thing for Passport holders to do so they don't have to re-apply from scratch all over again.

    He had plenty of time to bolt before the case became publicized, before he turned himself in and after he bonded out.

    The fb Paypal account SPECIFICALLY stated that ALL funds collected were to be used ONLY for living expenses and LEGAL FEES.

    Legal fees have nothing to do with posting bail.
    A bond has no influence on the outcome of the litigation and is merely a guarantee that one will show up for all subsequent court appearances and abide by the terms of release.
  • banzaib... Schläue~© 2012/06/02 18:09:32 (edited)
    banzaibuckaroo
    +2
    You never lie to a judge, because if you do....your character will be questioned later.

    This case has turned into a circus, and we can put a lot of blame on the Sanford police department for not doing their job in the first place. At this point, everyone from the Democrats, Republicans, Black Panthers, the NRA have turn this into a Political issue; when it should have been about finding justice.

    Finally, if Zimmerman only knew about National guidelines for a Neighborhood watch, this entire issue wouldn't have happen. You never confront a person, you never patrol alone, and you never carry a weapon. I don't believe Zimmerman will not be given a murder verdict, but a manslaughter because he didn't follow the rules, and listen to law enforcement.

    Not to mention, Zimmerman didn't listen to his attorney in the first place, so his excuse of not knowing if that paypal was usable is irrelevant. If you don't listen and don't answer your attorneys calls, what the heck.

    This entire situation has become a tragedy for two families
  • Schläue~© banzaib... 2012/06/02 20:08:27
    Schläue~©
    Who lied to the judge? They were all asked what their financial situation was in regards to posting a bond. The monies collected on the website were for a specific purpose.... LEGAL FEES.

    How did the SPD not do their job? The area was declared a crime scene immediately after paramedics pronounced Martin dead, the investigation began with detectives from their Major Crimes unit and witness statements were collected.
    Zimmerman was taken to the police station, interviewed for 3-4 hours, 911 calls reviewed, and his injuries were documented.

    Zimmerman was on his way to the store and wasn't on any type of 'patrol' when he observed Martin loitering around the buildings. He wasn't part of any sanctioned neighborhood watch and not bound to any book of rules. He was acting in the capacity of a concerned citizen.
    Who said he confronted Martin? Zimmerman was talking to the dispatcher on the phone for over 4 minutes.
    When did Zimmerman not listen to law enforcement? The dispatcher said "we don't need you to do that", and Zimmerman replied with "OK"... and continued his conversation.

    Zimmerman was under no obligation to take the advice of the attorney's he had before being charged. Fact is, the fb account was set up for specific uses and BAIL was not one of them.

    Where was Martin all that time? Where was he hiding for 4 minutes & 31 seconds?

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