- Associated Press - Friday, June 29, 2012

SANFORD, Fla. — George Zimmerman’s lawyer sparred with prosecutors over the former neighborhood watch volunteer’s finances Friday in a lengthy hearing that concluded with a judge saying he would need more time to decide whether to post bond again.

Circuit Judge Kenneth Lester did not indicate when he might make a decision. He revoked Zimmerman’s bond earlier this month when prosecutors told the judge Zimmerman and his wife misled the court about how much money they had during the April bond hearing.

Prosecutors said a website Zimmerman created for his legal defense had raised $135,000 at the time of his first bond hearing, and Zimmerman and his wife did not mention the money then.

Zimmerman’s attorney briefly considered calling his client to the stand, but ultimately decided against it.


Much of the bond hearing focused on the donations raised through a PayPal account and how it was repeatedly transferred between bank accounts Zimmerman and his wife controlled.

“It was done to hide the money so they could deceive the court, lie to the court. Mrs. Zimmerman lied to the court and this defendant just sat there and let it happen,” prosecutor Bernie de la Rionda said.

Zimmerman’s attorney attempted to show there was no effort to hide the money from the judge.

“It is not the grand conspiracy the state seems to suggest,” attorney Mark O'Mara said.

There was also a great deal of evidence and testimony about the head injuries Zimmerman suffered the night of the fight with Martin, including a broken nose and cuts on his skull. Zimmerman was also described by a probation officer as a “model client” who had not violated any of his previous bond conditions.

At times, the bond hearing had the flavor of a trial or a self-defense hearing, with both sides presenting what sounded like opening statements.

Attorneys for Zimmerman called prosecutors’ case weak and said he gave 11 voluntary statements to police and re-enacted the shooting with authorities. O'Mara twice played a chilling 911 call in which someone is repeatedly screaming “help” in the background. A gunshot is also heard on the recording.

George Zimmerman’s father took the witness stand and testified that he was certain that it was his son yelling for help on the tape.

Prosecutors argued they had evidence that Zimmerman was the aggressor and chased Martin, who they said acted in self-defense.

But the judge was not ruling on the merits of the case. Instead, the judge was focused on what happened at the previous bond hearing.

Zimmerman’s attorney called an expert on finances to testify, attempting to show that Zimmerman and his wife did not try to hide anything.

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