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.
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This Week’s Celebrity Instagrams (11/26-12/2)
30 photos Launch gallery
1. Little Legend and Puddy 😍😍😍😍
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2. "You on point Phife?" "all the time,Tip". 💥 #bannedfromnormal
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3. Vegan! The Impossible burger at Crossroads
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4. Lawrence #BeforeandAfterEpisodes 1-4: 184lbs 13% body fatEpisode 8: 196lbs 8% body fat S/O @coachdaveboxing with the works outs and @kildareriordan with the nutrition
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5. Jus haaaanngin out
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6. Meanwhile back at home in Atlanta GA someone mad they not on the 🛳. 😳
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7. No limits... Photo cred: Chris Bridges @ludacris
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8. new new
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9. Apparently my 260lbs is too much for the actual vines in the Hawaiian jungles to hold me without breaking and me falling hundreds of feet. So for safety purposes, I'm forced to swing thru #Jumanjj on wires strong enough to hold 12 adult buffaloes and 1 adult Rock. #OnSet #Jumanji #IronicallyIEatBuffaloDailyForLunch #MoreManThanNatureKnowsWhatToDoWith
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10. hey ma! 🎎#wcw 💙
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11. Surprise visit to our factories!!! #GoodAmerican #USA
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13. Peachy Keen 🔥✨⚡️
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14. If this don't look thankful I don't know what does. Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours. #UltraBlessed #24kMagic #SweetPotatoFly
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15. Late nights @nbcmarlon with the writers... we in here!!!
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16. There goes my baaaaaaaaabbbbyyyyy #QueenKingMagic!!! We're up to something! Ira BIG!!! Stay out our buisness -
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17. You want to win every game you play but when you come home to these faces... who cares. #ILoveYouGirls best part of my day, everyday!
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18. Steady,steady..... full size jenga.. "I got this one "???? Or do I ?
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19. Cornrows kind of day 😉@dontaysavoy2 you convinced me and I love. ❤️️
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20. #BrotherlyLove #tbt
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22. #basel #TeamLOVE @kingcombs
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23. Just introduced a special screening of @directher 's groundbreaking (must see) documentary @13thfilm with my brother @themichaelealy | @unitedblackout #blackoutblackfriday
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24. Me & Vanessa Williams giving #DuckLips #Pose on the set of #DaytimeDivas @vh1 - Coming Soon to a tv near you. Lol. - My make up done by @makeupsurgeon
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25. This picture just makes me wanna praise the Lord, you hear me!!!!!! Yes Lord brotha #TEDDYCAMPBELL What a #man !!! You are everything right on this picture husband ......... #gorgeous #stylish #classy #strong #masculine #king #sexy #debonair #gentlemenstyle And that #bible in your hand just seals the deal for me (probably cause i know that, that is what helped you become just as amazing as you look😘). While my heart and mind experiences the goodness of God at #church on Sundays, my eyes experiences the goodness of Teddy😍. Amen somebody🙌🏽. "Bless the Lord oh my soul and all that is within me bless his holy name" #myman #myhusband #goodman #blackman #dapperman #godlyman #goodfather #mybestfriend
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26. Yesterday was my mama's 53rd birthday!!!!! Got to celebrate with her all day. If this is what I have to look forward to I can't wait. Looking like a soft bucket a cocoa butter. Yaaaaaaaaaas! 😍😍😍 love you mommy!
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27. "Shout out to @PureAtlanta for getting the family right"....I'm loving this jogger. 😍😍
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28. This pic warms my heart ❤️ #myLogiebeans and aunt aunt umba @itowandabraxton 😘
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29. You will always be my baby😜. #HappyBirthdayReginae #mybaby18
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30. GC "Gods Child" Red on Red SweatSuit available now at www.MonicaApparel.com ... Take Your Crown wherever you go!! I'm pictured in a Medium... Go to the site now for other options ... cc: @trukernell
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