Apparently $200,000 wasn’t enough for George Zimmerman.
The man accused of second-degree murder in the killing of unarmed Florida teenager Trayvon Martin put out a plea late Thursday for supporters to send even more money to help bail him out of jail and pay for his attorneys.
In April, Zimmerman raised more than $200,000 online after his case began to draw international attention. He has become a cause celebre for gun rights advocates because he claims he shot the teen in self defense the night of Feb. 26 in Sanford, Fla.
The latest plea for cash went out a special website his defense team set up to publish statements about the case. It said the defense was certain to be “very expensive” and read like some sort of bizarre public radio pledge drive.
“For those who have given in the past,” it said, “for those who have thought about giving, for those who feel Mr. Zimmerman was justified in his actions, for those who feel they would do the same if they were in Mr. Zimmerman’s shoes, for those that think Mr. Zimmerman has been treated unfairly by the media, for those who feel Mr. Zimmerman has been falsely accused as a racist, for those who feel this case is an affront to their constitutional rights — now is the time to show your support.”
Zimmerman’s team made the plea just hours after Judge Kenneth Lester Jr., granted him bail for the second time this year.
Of course, it was the money Zimmerman raised previously that landed him back in jail this time around. Last month, after he had been released on bail following the shooting, the judge threw him back behind bars after finding out he and his wife tried to hide the fundraising from authorities.
On Thursday, the judge said he has little reason to trust Zimmerman anymore because of the fiasco but that the law forced him to grant bail for a second time anyway. He set Zimmerman’s bond at $1 million.
In its plea for money, Zimmerman’s team said he has enough cash left in his defense fund to pay a bail bond company the 10 percent required to get him out of jail. However, they said that $100,000 coupled with about $40,000 they must pay experts and investigators will almost wipe out the fund.
The team also said since he was thrown back in jail, donations to his defense have dropped off “significantly.” But they insisted the problem wasn’t Zimmerman’s alleged lies about his fundraising. It was that his supporters didn’t trust the judge.
“Supporters have told us they were concerned that the Court would set such a high bond that getting George out of jail could risk wiping out the entire defense account,” the statement said. “It appears that they were right.”
The defense team said it may take some time to figure out whether Zimmerman can afford to pay the bond. As of Friday morning, online jail records showed Zimmerman was still in jail.
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