Calling it an “oversight,” George Zimmerman’s attorney said Friday the neighborhood watch volunteer did not disclose that a website had raised more than $200,000 for his defense, even though his family told the judge they would have trouble coming up with his bond.
“Quite honestly, with everything he is going through over the past several weeks, if that is the only oversight committed, then we’ll deal with it,” said Zimmerman’s attorney, Mark O’Mara.
O’Mara claimed the family was not trying to be deceptive, but Florida Circuit Judge Kenneth Lester said he wanted to know more about the money. O’Mara doesn’t think the judge will change Zimmerman’s bond in light of the new information.
Zimmerman was released from jail earlier this week, and has gone into hiding ever since over concerns about his safety. He is accused of second-degree murder for the shooting death of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin, an unarmed black teenager. Zimmerman wasn’t charged for more than six weeks, setting off nationwide protests. He claims self-defense.
Zimmerman’s father is white and his mother is from Peru.
An attorney for Martin’s family said the teenager’s parents were “offended” Zimmerman did not tell the judge about the money.
“This is a bombshell that was dropped,” Benjamin Crump said.
O’Mara said he learned about the money this week, after Zimmerman’s release. The family used $5,000 from the website as well as a second mortgage on their home to bail out Zimmerman, O’Mara said. Zimmerman has also used some of the money for living expenses.
Zimmerman disclosed the $200,000 when his defense attorney was closing down his social media accounts and the website earlier this week, O’Mara said.
“We just didn’t have a lot of conversations around money and the website,” O’Mara said.
The defense has started a Facebook page and Twitter account for Zimmerman, and another website under O’Mara’s control, http://www.gzlegalcase.com . It will allow supporters to donate to a legal defense fund.
“I don’t want my client to have any Internet presence unless it is through my office,” O’Mara said. “What I’m trying to do is limit the enormity of danger that comes into this case in places like Twitter and false Facebook accounts.”
Zimmerman’s lawyer said most donors had contributed in the range of several hundred dollars. He said he didn’t want their names publicized.
“My fear is they will be targeted for reprisals, animosities,” O’Mara said.
Also Friday, Lester refused the prosecution’s request to issue a gag order on those involved in the murder trial. He said he would not stop Zimmerman’s attorneys from talking to the media.
“This case is the most significant media event in the country, maybe in the world. We can’t be absolutely mute about these matters,” O’Mara said.
The hearing was called originally to decide whether Zimmerman’s court file should be opened to the public.
Typically, court records are public, but O’Mara had asked that they be sealed at his arraignment, and another judge agreed. Lester ruled that the court file will be open.
If prosecutors or O’Mara are worried about the release of specific items, they can present their concerns to Lester and he will rule on a case-by-case basis.
Also On Black America Web:
This Week’s Celebrity Instagrams (10/15-10/21)
31 photos Launch gallery
1. Just a NY girl with BIG dreams....
1 of 31
2. HAPPY CHILDREN=QUALITY PARENTING. We don't always see eye to eye on everything and that's normal. We're human beings. But we come together and do it right for what's important, the kids. We are not enemies, we are parents. And we are parents 1st. S/O to @monyettashaw for making Mason's bday memorable. S/O to @itscrystalsmith at home taking care of our other lil' Prince. ❤️❤️❤️ THIS IS WHAT CO-PARENTING LOOKS LIKE. #Blessed #Happy #AboveTheDrama #BiggerThanUs
2 of 31
3. So happy to finally be able to share with you all that I’m the new Global Brand Ambassador for @Revlon! Follow my day on RevlonSnaps. Yay! Choose Love, Everybody! #RevlonXCiara #chooselove #ad
3 of 31
4. Glam on point!!!@makeupbymotoko & @shaylinjoneshair #easybreezy @lifetimetv #beachesmovie #january2017 😘
4 of 31
5. ✨True love ✨📸: @jessiemarrerophotography
5 of 31
6 of 31
7. Today was not easy..but by the grace of God we all got through it. Words cannot express our gratitude for all of your Prayers, Positive thoughts and Support for us throughout the years. Tommy will be missed but most certainly never forgotten...And PLEASE don't ask "Where's Martin?.." he was there too...just not in this picture. Lol! God bless you all.. #LoveConquersAll #MartinShow
7 of 31
8 of 31
9. West coast get ready for #RockyHorror. I will be live tweeting again. #letsdothetimewarpagain
9 of 31
10. #THEKEYS pre order yours now ... Available everywhere #NOV22 #WeTheBest 🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑
10 of 31
11. We about to ROCK at #KCABlackBall!! All for our life-changing effort to end 🌎 AIDS.
11 of 31
12. Today's #SNAPJACK is brought to you by @yazzthegreatest 😂😂😂💋💋💋
12 of 31
13. Damn girl you kinda old to be headed to the Go Go. You coming in at the age they leaving. LMAO
13 of 31
14. Daddy daycare B-Boxin with @acewellstucker @shopraisingace
14 of 31
15. #FBF Naviyd & URV "LIL MONSTERS"
15 of 31
16. HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ONE OF THE BIGGEST LEGENDS IN OUR HIPHOP HISTORY! @snoopdogg CONTINUED BLESSING AND LOVE FAMILY!!!!! REAL OG!
16 of 31
17. Thank you for a beautiful night VSU! Let's do it again! #HOMECOMING
17 of 31
18. Had a great time this morning with my familia Erica, Griff & Truth!!
18 of 31
19. Check out my interview on @essence facebook live. #inmyownwords #nycpromo #day2
19 of 31
20. #She💋 #tbt #TheCoveAtTheAtlantis #DawgPawsAndAll
20 of 31
21. Bae #retailtherapy
21 of 31
22. Why me and @coryhardrict got the same pose... and notee... new mouth #naked
22 of 31
23. When my husband is my personal 'hype-man'! it kills me every time! 💜😂 #WHATNOW #lostfiles📷
23 of 31
24. Diggy Simmons
24 of 31
25. Hand full of @jacquieaiche 💙💎💍 @esnail_la 💅🏾
25 of 31
26. SuperSoulers! You can watch my interview with Carl Lentz live from my Facebook page, tomorrow at 11a ET| 8a PT. #SuperSoulSunday
26 of 31
27. 💋 .. When the friendship is easy like Sunday morning. ☀️
27 of 31
28. Sunday mornings are the best........... hugs and cuddles with my angel
28 of 31
29. #huggar16 #hellohuggars
29 of 31
30. My gym is everywhere!.. #RnBMoney #TheGeneral 📸: @twelvepastseven
30 of 31
31. Nothing I would rather be doing... Rocko setting up our movie, Romelō working on a puzzle & Laiyah singing and sharing all she's learning at school... I'm so grateful for the joy they've brought into my life ... Praying for peace , joy & love in the home of EVERY family ♥️ #HeadScarfPJSunday LOL 😂
31 of 31