George Zimmerman’s credibility is once again under scrutiny today, after it came to light that both he and his wife lied to authorities about their current financial situation, in order to obtain a bail bond.
Legal experts have warned that this deception could have enormous implications on Zimmerman’s murder trial, as the result will largely be based on whether or not the jurors believe him and the account he gave of events leading up to the fatal shooting of 19-year-old Trayvon Martin.
Court judges highlighted Zimmerman’s deception on Friday, which will likely present enormous complications for his legal team and its intention to present him as a primary witness.
“The other key witness, unfortunately is deceased,” according to Zimmerman’s attorney. “Basically, Zimmerman is going to be asking the jury to believe his version of the facts … As the case stands now, his credibility is absolutely critical to the case.”
Zimmerman has contested the trial all along and pleaded not guilty to the charges of second-degree murder put to him. He is accused of fatally shooting teenage Trayvon Martin at a gated Florida community in February – an incident Zimmerman claims was self-defense. He argues that Martin had attacked him and began repeatedly slamming his head against a concrete sidewalk, resulting in the fatal shot in order to save his own life.
Evidence of what took place that night is dangerously sketchy at best. Along with there being no video or photographic evidence of the altercation or shooting, images have been released which appear to show Zimmerman with various cuts and bruises across his face and head.
Maintaining a high level of credibility in the eyes of court judges is of extreme importance for Zimmerman’s legal team if he is to see the charges thrown out before going to trial, based on Florida’s controversial “Stand your Ground” law.
“If he was in on something that was not truthfully revealed to the judge, when there is a ‘stand your ground’ hearing, of course you’re going to second-guess him,” his teams stated.
44 days after the fatal shooting, Zimmerman was arrested by local authorities which was followed by a bond hearing where he and his wife stated that they had insufficient funds to cover the costs. This was the hearing that would become famous for Zimmerman’s direct apology to the parents of Trayvon Martin.
According to prosecutors however, Zimmerman had as least $135,000 at the time in funds that had been collected via an online charity website set up to assist his defense. They also stated that the account had accrued considerably more since then.
When questioned about the fund, Shellie Zimmerman stated that she didn’t know how much money the fund had accumulated. Bail was then set at $150,000 and George Zimmerman was freed shortly afterwards upon the paying of $15,000 cash – he immediately went into hiding.
According to prosecuting attorneys speaking on Friday, “This court was led to believe they didn’t have a single penny. It was misleading and I don’t know what words to use other than it was a blatant lie.”
Judges agreed and Zimmerman was once again behind bars late Sunday.