A Florida judge refused to increase the bail for George Zimmerman, the town watch volunteer charged with murdering unarmed teenager Trayvon Martin, after prosecutors revealed he had raised about $200,000 from supporters.
“I’m not going to make a snap decision,” Florida Circuit Judge Kenneth Lester Jr. said during a hearing Friday in Sanford, where Martin, 17, was shot to death in late February. Lester said he needed more information about Zimmerman’s fundraising before he could reconsider increasing the bond, according to reports.
Zimmerman, charged with second-degree murder, was released from the John E. Polk correctional facility in Sanford on $150,000 bond earlier this week. He’s currently at an undisclosed location. During an earlier bond hearing, Zimmerman and his family said they were cash-broke and unable to post substantial bond.
Zimmerman’s money, according to reports, was raised from anonymous supporters through a website Zimmerman launched to pay for his defense. Zimmerman’s attorney, Mark O’Mara, told the judge on Friday that Zimmerman’s family hadn’t informed him about the money before Zimmerman was granted the $150,000 bond.
Prosecutor Bernardo de la Rionda asked the judge to reconsider the amount of Zimmerman’s bond in light of the money. Benjamin Crump, an attorney for Martin’s family, said he was surprised the prosecutor didn’t seek to revoke Zimmerman’s bail.
“For [Zimmerman] to sit there and deceive the court, we hope the judge is as offended by his deception as Trayvon Martin’s parents are,” Crump told HuffPost.
Crump said Zimmerman “lied to the court by omission when he listened to his father, his mother and his wife give testimony when they were questioned by the special prosecutor, by the judge as well as his own attorney as to how much money was raised on that website.”
“They waivered,” Crump said, “they vacillated, they wouldn’t give a straight answer.
“A bond matter is about trust. The court is taking your word and is asking you to be honest and truthful with the court,” Crump said. “Obviously he misled the court.”
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