George Zimmerman Bond
George Zimmerman Bond, The credibility of Trayvon Martin’s shooter could become an issue at trial after a Florida judge said that George Zimmerman and his wife lied to the court about their finances to obtain a bond, legal experts say.
That’s because the case hinges on jurors believing Zimmerman’s account of what happened the night that the 17-year-old Martin was killed. Zimmerman wasn’t charged in the case until more than a month after the shooting, as the former neighborhood watch volunteer maintained that he shot Martin in self-defense under Florida’s so-called stand your ground law. Protests were held across the nation, and the case spurred debate about whether race was a factor in Zimmerman’s actions and in the initial police handling of the case. Martin was black; Zimmerman’s father is white and his mother is from Peru.
The questioning of Zimmerman’s truthfulness by the judge on Friday could undermine the defendant’s credibility if it is brought up at trial. It also may complicate how his defense presents him as a witness, said Orlando-area attorney Randy McClean, a former prosecutor.
“The other key witness, unfortunately, is deceased,” McClean said. “Basically, Zimmerman is going to be asking the jury to believe his version of the facts. … As the case stands now, his credibility is absolutely critical to the case.”
Zimmerman had not turned himself in as of early Saturday evening, the day after his bond was revoked. He must do so by Sunday afternoon.
He went into hiding in the weeks after the shooting amid an impassioned debate about the case, and his exact whereabouts since he bonded out of jail remain unclear. It also was not immediately clear exactly where Zimmerman would surrender.
Zimmerman has pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder for the February shooting. He maintains he shot Martin in self-defense because the unarmed 17-year-old was beating him up after confronting Zimmerman about following him in a gated community outside Orlando.
Witness accounts of the rainy night that Martin was shot are spotty. There is no video of the fight, though photos released by prosecutors show Zimmerman with wounds to his face and the back of his head. (AP)