Zimmerman Keeps $200,000 From Donations…For Now
In a court hearing today in the George Zimmerman case, Judge Kenneth Lester decided to postpone a ruling on what will happen to a pot of money that has been donated for Zimmerman’s defense.
The Florida judge ruled that Zimmerman, the neighborhood watch volunteer accused of killing an unarmed Trayvon Martin in February, will not immediately have to turn over donations made to his website that now total more than $200,000.
According to his attorney, Mark O’Mara, Zimmerman collected the money through the website, but did not tell the judge he had the funds during his bond hearing last week. O’Mara says he discovered the money in the process of shutting down Zimmerman’s Twitter and Facebook accounts.
Prosecutors had asked for a bond of $1 million, but Judge Lester made it $150,000 after Zimmerman’s family testified they did not have the resources necessary to meet the higher level.
Judge Lester said he needed more time to look into who controlled the money before he would make a ruling on what should happen to it. Assistant State Attorney Bernie de la Rionda on Friday asked Judge Lester to increase Zimmerman’s bond in light of the donations. Martin family Attorney Benjamin Crump said Zimmerman should immediately be brought back into custody for not being honest with the court about his financial capabilities.
About $5,000 from the website contribution was used in making bond, O’Mara said. The rest came from a loan secured by a family home.
Zimmerman has also reportedly spent some of the contributions on living expenses. About $150,000 remains, O’Mara said Friday. The money has now been put into a trust controlled by O’Mara until a final decision is made about its use.
More in this report from CNN