t’s never a good idea to go into a courtroom and lie under oath, but it’s an awful idea to lie to a judge. It’s really a terrible idea when you have made said judge so angry he says you lack respect for the law.
Most judges take their jobs extremely seriously. It ain’t no joke, so when Judge Kenneth Lester, who is presiding over the case of George Zimmerman released his written order of why he revoked the accused killer of Trayvon Martin’s bail and returned him to jail, he was scathing in his remarks about Zimmerman and they weren’t complimentary.
The judge who revoked George Zimmerman’s bond did so after he determined that it was “apparent” that Zimmerman’s wife had lied under oath, and clear that Zimmerman “does not properly respect the law.”
The judge sent Zimmerman — the man charged with second-degree murder in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin — back to jail after prosecutors alleged that Zimmerman and his wife conspired to hide from the court about $135,000 Zimmerman had collected in donations to his website.
The Zimmermans spoke about the money “in code” during recorded jailhouse phone calls, prosecutors said. Then, Shellie Zimmerman told the judge during her husband’s bond hearing that the couple was essentially destitute.
“It is apparent that [Shellie] Zimmerman testified untruthfully at the bond hearing,” the judge writes in his order. “The Defendant also testified, but did not alert the Court to the misinformation.”
“Had the Court been made aware of the true financial circumstances at the bond hearing, the bond decision might have been different,” Lester wrote. After finding out about the discrepancy, the judge said he was left with two options: Increasing Zimmerman’s bond, or revoking it.
The judge writes that his considered several factors, most of which weighed against Zimmerman.
Among them, “this is a serious charge for which life may be imposed; the evidence against him is strong; he has been charged with one prior crime, for which he went through a pre-trial diversion program, and has had an injunction lodged against him” for domestic violence. (emphasis added)
“Most importantly, though, is the fact that he has now demonstrated that he does not properly respect the law or the integrity of the judicial process,” Lester wrote.
I’ll leave the expert analysis to the legal minds in the audience, but even a layman can hazard a guess it’s NOT a good thing to tick off the judge who can decide to turn you loose or leave you cooling your heels in jail until your trial begins.
Then the other shoe dropped and George Zimmerman’s week from bad to terrible.
Shellie Zimmerman, wife of George Zimmerman, who killed Trayvon Martin, was arrested Tuesday on one count of perjury, the Seminole County, Fla., Sheriff’s Department said.
Deputies arrested Shellie Zimmerman, 25, about 3:30 p.m. ET, after they were advised by the office of State Attorney Angela Corey that a warrant had been issued.
The affidavit against Shellie Zimmerman charges that the couple had collected more than $100,000 in internet donations and Mrs. Zimmerman transferred more than $74,000 into her personal account during conversations with her jailed husband on a recorded phone line. The Zimmermans spoke in code about the money transfers, but authorities easily determined George instructing Shellie to use the money to pay off personal bills including their America Express and Sam’s Club accounts.
CBS News reported what may have tripped up the Dumb-Ass Duo. ,Jeffrey Neiman, a former federal prosecutor now in private practice, said cash transactions in excess of $10,000 usually trigger a reporting requirement by the bank to multiple government agencies — including the IRS.
“If Mrs. Zimmerman intentionally structured the financial transactions in a manner to keep the offense under $10,000, not only may she have committed perjury in the state case, but she also may have run afoul of several federal statutes and could face serious federal criminal charges,” Neiman wrote in an email to The Associated Press.
Some experts watching the case say Shellie Zimmerman’s arrest may not affect her husband’s chances to convince Judge Lester to release him on bail a second time, but indicates the prosecution is serious about going after George and now has the threat of locking up his wife as a possible bargaining chip.
Wouldn’t it be funny if George Zimmerman gets out of jail at the same time Shellie Zimmerman is going in?
I know I’d laugh.
- New George Zimmerman Credibility Blow? Zimmerman’s Wife Arrested, Charged With Perjury (themoderatevoice.com)
- George Zimmerman’s wife Shellie Zimmerman arrested on perjury charges (thegrio.com)
- Zimmerman case: judge orders new evidence released (thegrio.com)