Jail phone calls show George Zimmerman instructing wife - New York News

Jail phone calls show George Zimmerman instructing wife on transfers

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George and Shellie Zimmerman George and Shellie Zimmerman
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ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) -

Prosecutors on Monday released the jailhouse phone calls and bank records of George Zimmerman, the neighborhood watchman charged with killing Trayvon Martin, that they claim prove he misrepresented his financial status at an April bond hearing. 

Bank documents show George Zimmerman's checking account balance increased from $370.45 on April 1 to over $128,000 by April 27.

During much of this period, Zimmerman was operating a website soliciting funds for his legal defense in the racially-charged shooting case.

Seminole Circuit Judge Kenneth Lester set Zimmerman's bond at $150,000 on April 20 after members of his family testified that he was of very little financial means.

Zimmerman's bank records show a flurry of activity leading up to the hearing date, with his balance dwindling from over $80,000 on April 16 to less than a thousand dollars on April 20.

Zimmerman, 28, returned to Seminole County jail earlier this month after Lester revoked his bond after ruling his wife, Shellie Zimmerman, misled the court about the prolific fund raising.

A second bond hearing has been set for June 29. Shellie Zimmerman has been charged with perjury over the comments.

Zimmerman's attorney, Mark O'Mara, has said he was unaware of the funds as of April 20.

O'Mara disclosed the funds to Lester soon after learning of them and shut down the website in favor of the independently managed Legal Defense Fund in late April.

The 28-year-old defendant was charged with second-degree murder on April 11 after he shot and killed the unarmed Martin in a gated community in Sanford, Fla., on Feb. 26. A volunteer neighborhood watchman, he claims the shooting was in self-defense.

But a six-week delay in Zimmerman's arrest inspired protests nationwide, with many claiming the killing of Martin, an unarmed black teenager, was racially motivated.

Prosecutors also released the audio of six of the 151 phone calls Zimmerman has placed from jail.

Zimmerman and his wife appear to speak in code on the calls, using terms such as "$15" to refer to "$150,000" and "Peter Pan" to refer to his fundraising website's PayPal account.

The defendant does not discuss the case on the phone calls, but possibly made a joke about wearing "a hoodie" as a safety measure for his release on bond.

Martin was wearing a hoodie during his fatal encounter with Zimmerman. Martin's wardrobe inspired the "Million Hoodie March" in New York City in March that called for Zimmerman's arrest.

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