Florida Circuit Court Judge Kenneth Lester set a $1 million bond for George Zimmerman, the neighborhood watchman charged with second-degree murder of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin.
Initially, Zimmerman’s bail was set at $150,000, until Judge Lester learned that Zimmerman and his wife Shellie secretly received more than $150,000 in donations from the public. As a result, Lester revoked this bail, in part out of fear that Zimmerman might try to leave the United States.
According to CBSNews.com, prosecutor Bernie de la Rionda argued that Shellie Zimmerman untruthfully stated that she and her husband could not afford the original bail, when the two actually had more than $100,000 in the bank at the time of the first bond hearing.
Zimmerman did not refute his wife’s statement, upsetting the judge with his dishonesty. The judge recorded in his ruling that Zimmerman gave a “false testimony at a previous hearing” regarding monetary information.
Lester also wrote: “The evidence is clear that the Defendant and his wife acted in concert…to conceal their cash holdings. They spoke in rudimentary code to conceal the true amount of money they were dealing with.”
In addition to hiding the truth about the couple’s finances, Zimmerman also withheld information about “a valid second passport in his safe deposit box,” Lester wrote. “Notably, together with the passport, the money only had to be hidden for a short time for him to leave the country if the Defendant made a quick decision to flee,” had he not been required to stay in Seminole County, Florida and been electronically monitored with a curfew.
George Zimmerman has pleaded not guilty, claiming self defense for the cause of his actions against Trayvon Martin in February.