Zimmerman bond status still undecided
By Brittany Rose / email@example.com
June 29, 2012
Filed under News
A second bond hearing was held for George Zimmerman today after the court found out he and his wife, Shellie, lied about the amount of money and assets were in their possession in the month of April.
The hearing felt very close to an actual trial, as the defense presented evidence and testimony to weaken the state’s case against Zimmerman.
Zimmerman is being charged with the second-degree murder of 17-year-old Taryvon Martin. Zimmermanm a neighborhood watch captain, is citing Florida’s Stand Your Ground law as his defense.
Forensic financial specialist Adam Magill was called to the stand by the defense to testify that all activity made on both George ZImmerman and his wife’s PayPal accounts was legal and in no way suspicious.
Showing the court a timeline of all withdrawals and transfers made between both PayPal accounts, Magill explained that despite multiple transfers and the fact that roughly $24,000 was spent on living expenses and debt payment, nothing outright illegal was being done.
“All of the money has been accounted for,” said Magill. Though he later agreed with the state prosecutors on the fact that switching money from account to account may have been a way to make the money look like it was not there.
Once the issue with Zimmerman’s finances were settled, the defense began to focus mainly on the evidence regarding Zimmerman’s injuries on the night of Feb. 26 and also the evidence for their self-defense case.
A portion of the video interview that Zimmerman did recreating the events that transpired between himself and Trayvon Martin was shown in court. During which, Zimmerman explained the extent of his injuries from the incident.
Kevin O’Rourke, a firefighter with the Sanford Fire Department who reported to the scene on the night of February 26 and attended to Zimmerman’s injuries that night, was also called to the stand.
“A good 45 percent of his face was covered in blood that night,” said O’Rourke. He stated that his assessment of Zimmerman was that he may need stitches and should “definitely” see a doctor within the following 24 hours.
Though he did agree that the injuries may have been consistent with someone receiving blows to the head by something very hard, O’Rourke did not fail to mention that Zimmerman was very alert that night.
“He knew who he was and where he was,” said O’Rourke. He also felt that it should be taken into account that “any sort of cut or laceration to the head will cause a fair amount of bleeding.”
A 911 call made by “witness 11” on the night of the incident was also played for the courtroom. Zimmerman’s father, Robert Zimmerman was then called to the stand to testify that the man yelling for help on the call was, in fact, his son.
“That voice was one-hundred percent George’s,” said Robert Zimmerman.
Adam Vincent, Zimmerman’s probation officer with Seminole County also took the stand to testify that Zimmerman did not violate his probation in any way.
After a request by the defense that Zimmerman be allowed to make a statement on the stand without being cross examined by the defense was denied by Judge Lester, the defense team decided against allowing him to make that statement.
“He is no different than anyone else who comes in here,” said Lester. “He can’t pick and choose show questions him.”
The hearing began with Zimmerman’s defense attorney, Mark O’Mara, asking for a filter on information disclosed to the public. The state prosecutors, as well as an attorney representing the Orlando Sentinel and other local media outlets, quickly shot that down stating that by Florida law anything that is shown to both parties as discovery then becomes public record.
The bond hearing, which lasted almost three hours, ended without a final resolution. According to O’Mara, Lester has eight to ten hours of evidence to review, and it is not clear when the ruling will be given. Lester’s ruling will be issued in writing.
“It is my hope that the judge will spend the weekend reviewing,” said O’Mara outside the courtroom. “There is a lot of evidence there for him to go over.”
Martin family attorney Benjamin Crump also spoke after the hearing, stating they hope that bond will not be given. “George Zimmerman has some serious credibility issues,” said Crump. “Credibility is always important in a case like this.”
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