Prosecutors on Monday morning released audio recordings of six jailhouse phone calls between George Zimmerman and his wife that allegedly prove the couple lied to authorities earlier this year.
Zimmerman is charged with second-degree murder in the killing of unarmed teenager Trayvon Martin. His wife, Shellie Zimmerman, was charged with perjury earlier this month for allegedly lying to the judge when she took the witness stand at a bond hearing in her husband’s case in April.
The apparent deceit centers on more than $200,000 that George Zimmerman raised for his own defense using a homemade website and a PayPal account.
At her husband’s bond hearing, Shellie Zimmerman said she knew nothing about the money and had little means to pay for even a fraction of the $1 million that prosecutors wanted the family to pay to secure George Zimmerman’s release from jail.
Her testimony was among the things that convinced Judge Kenneth Lester Jr. to grant a bond low enough that the family only had to pay a bondsman about $15,000 to get George Zimmerman out of jail.
After his release, however, investigators with special prosecutor Angela Corey’s office uncovered recordings of jailhouse phone calls between the couple days before the hearing in which they talked about the huge amounts of money that had been secretly raised. Prosecutors said the couple used thinly veiled codes to talk about the money.
The judge used those recordings to send George Zimmerman back to jail earlier this month and prosecutors used them to charge Shellie Zimmerman with perjury. Now, the calls are being made available to the public for the first time.
Listen to all six calls here:
Nick Martin is an associate editor at TPM in New York City. He came to the site in 2011 as a reporter for TPMMuckraker. Previously, he worked in Arizona, first as a staff reporter for a local newspaper and later as a freelance journalist. He also ran the news blog Heat City. Contact him: nick [at] talkingpointsmemo.com