George Zimmerman’s legal team announced Friday that his supporters donated $20,000 to his defense fund since a judge granted him bail a day earlier.
Despite the blitz, the man charged with second-degree murder in the killing of unarmed teenager Trayvon Martin still sits in a Florida jail while his team works out the details of his release.
On Thursday, a judge gave Zimmerman a deal in which he would have to pay a bondsman just $100,000 to get out of jail while he awaits trial in the killing.
The fundraising pace is the fastest it’s been since Zimmerman handed over management of his defense fund to an independent trustee hired by his attorneys in late April.
During the few weeks before that, Zimmerman managed to raise an astonishing $200,000 on his own by setting up a crudely built website and a PayPal account. But after handing the money over to the trustee, his attorney said the donations slowed considerably.
In its announcement on Friday, Zimmerman’s defense team said the fund had collected another $55,000 after the transfer was made but before the judge announced he could be released on bail.
The news of Zimmerman’s potential release set off a plea from his defense team asking supporters to help fund his bail and other defense costs. Zimmerman has pleaded not guilty to the murder charge and claimed he shot the teen in self defense on Feb. 26 in Sanford, Fla. His attorneys asked that anyone who supports him and believes he’s been the focus of a media witch hunt to donate whatever they could.
This is the second time Zimmerman has been granted bail. But last month, just weeks after he was released the first time, the judge threw him back in jail after learning Zimmerman had concealed the amount of his fundraising from authorities.
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