The man who killed unarmed Florida teenager Trayvon Martin wants to walk free from jail again.
In a motion made public on Monday morning, George Zimmerman’s attorney asked Judge Kenneth Lester Jr. to trust his client enough to grant him bail just weeks after ordering him back behind bars for lying to the court.
The order came after revelations that Zimmerman and his wife allegedly hid a huge amount of money from authorities and deceived the judge about it the last time they asked for bail. The money, eventually totaling more than $200,000, came from donations Zimmerman received through a website and a PayPal account he set up when the Feb. 26 killing in Sanford, Fla., began to draw international attention.
“Mr. Zimmerman’s failure to advise the Court of the existence of the donated funds at the initial bail hearing was wrong and Mr. Zimmerman accepts responsibility for his part in allowing the Court to be misled about his true financial circumstances,” attorney Mark O’Mara wrote in the motion, dated Friday. He added that Zimmerman no longer has control of the money after handing it over to a trust.
O’Mara’s request might be a tall one, considering the judge has already said he sees little reason to allow Zimmerman to go free a second time. The last time around, Lester granted a bond low enough that Zimmerman had to pay just $15,000 to a bondsman to get out of jail. But after things went south, the judge ordered Zimmerman to return to jail and prosecutors charged Zimmerman’s wife, Shellie, with perjury.
In an order made public on June 12, the judge said the incident had eaten away at Zimmerman’s credibility. He said the evidence against Zimmerman appeared to be “strong” and other factors worked against his release. “Most importantly, though, is the fact that he has now demonstrated that he does not properly respect the law or the integrity of the judicial process.”
Lester has scheduled a hearing on Zimmerman’s bail for Friday.
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