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Zimmerman back in custody after bail is revoked

Judge cites lies about finances

- Associated Press - Sunday, June 3, 2012

MIAMI — George Zimmerman, the neighborhood watch volunteer charged with murder in the killing of Trayvon Martin, surrendered to police Sunday and was booked into jail after having his bail revoked two days earlier.

Mr. Zimmerman's legal team said in a tweet that he was in police custody. Mr. Zimmerman's bail was revoked because the judge said he and his wife lied to the court about their finances so he could obtain a lower bond.

On Sunday afternoon, about 40 minutes before the 2:30 p.m. deadline to surrender, Mr. Zimmerman was listed as an inmate on the jail website. He was listed as being held without bail and having $500 in his jail account.

Prosecutors had said Mr. Zimmerman and his wife told the judge at a bond hearing in April that they had limited money, even though he had raised about $135,000 through a website. Defense attorneys said the matter was a misunderstanding.

Attorney Mark O'Mara announced earlier Sunday on his website that Mr. Zimmerman had arrived in Florida late Saturday evening ahead of his surrender. Mr. Zimmerman, who is charged with second-degree murder in the fatal shooting of the 17-year-old Martin, was ordered by a judge Friday to return to jail.

The judge revoked Mr. Zimmerman's bond, suggesting he and his wife had not been honest about their finances. During a bond hearing in April, the couple had indicated they had limited funds. But prosecutors say Mr. Zimmerman had raised thousands through a website he had set up for his legal defense.

Mr. Zimmerman's legal team said Sunday that they will ask for a new bond hearing to address those concerns, and that they hope Mr. Zimmerman's voluntary surrender will show he is not a flight risk. Furthermore, the money Mr. Zimmerman has raised is in an independent trust and cannot be directly accessed by Mr. Zimmerman or his attorneys, according to the press release.

Mr. Zimmerman has pleaded not guilty to the second-degree murder charge. He maintains he shot Martin in self-defense under Florida's so-called "stand your ground" law because the teen, who was unarmed, was beating him up after confronting Mr. Zimmerman about following him in a gated community outside Orlando.

Mr. Zimmerman's credibility could become an issue at trial, legal experts said, noting the case hinges on jurors believing Mr. Zimmerman's account of what happened the night in February that Martin was killed.

Mr. Zimmerman wasn't charged in the case until more than a month after the shooting. Protests were held across the nation, and the case spurred debate about whether race was a factor in Mr. Zimmerman's actions and in the initial police handling of the case. Martin was black; Mr. Zimmerman's father is white and his mother is from Peru.

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