George Zimmerman, the man charged with murder in the killing of unarmed Florida teenager Trayvon Martin, says he’s worried for his wife’s safety because her mugshot was plastered throughout the media following her arrest on Tuesday.
Zimmerman’s lawyer told ABC News that he visited his client in jail on Tuesday night after the arrest of Shellie Zimmerman, who had been charged with lying to the judge in her husband’s case. There, George Zimmerman told him about the concerns.
“Certainly now that she’s been charged with a crime he’s worried about her, and also worried now that she’s out in the public eye,” attorney Mark O’Mara told the network.
George Zimmerman has been charged with second-degree murder in the Feb. 26 killing of the teen. A volunteer neighborhood watchman at a gated community in Sanford, Fla., he has said he was acting in self defense when he shot Martin. Prosecutors say he pursued and confronted the teen before shooting him.
George Zimmerman was targeted by death threats when the killing began to draw international scrutiny in March. In the weeks before he was charged with murder, he went into hiding with his wife. Their whereabouts were closely guarded by lawyers and other family members.
The judge, Kenneth Lester Jr., took the safety concerns seriously in April after Zimmerman was charged and asked to be set free from jail on bond. Lester allowed Zimmerman’s wife and parents to testify by phone on his behalf from a secret location.
But it was what Shellie Zimmerman said at that bond hearing that got her in so much trouble now. Prosecutors alleged that she lied during her testimony about how much money she and her husband had at their disposal at the time. She claimed she had little to no money to pay even a fraction of the $1 million bond prosecutors had asked for.
Because of that, the judge allowed her husband to go free under a deal where his family had to put up just $15,000 to secure his release.
But days after George Zimmerman walked out of the Seminole County, Fla., jail, his lawyer revealed on CNN that the Zimmermans had managed to raise $200,000 using a crudely built website and a PayPal account.
Earlier this month, prosecutors said Shellie Zimmerman knew about the money and even transferred some of it between bank accounts days before she testified at the hearing. That same day, the judge ordered George Zimmerman to return to jail.
On Tuesday, authorities arrested and charged Shellie Zimmerman with perjury. She was released on bond a short time later. Her mugshot became public just like any other person arrested in Seminole County, Fla.
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