Zimmerman Web Donations Trigger Bail Dispute

By Andrew Chow, Esq. on April 27, 2012 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

Turns out the real George Zimmerman had a lot more money than what he revealed at his bail hearing last week, thanks to website donations. Prosecutors want Zimmerman's bail increased accordingly, Reuters reports.

Zimmerman's website, TheRealGeorgeZimmerman.com, raised more than $200,000 from online donors before it was taken down, his lawyer Mark O'Mara disclosed Thursday. Zimmerman was released on $150,000 bail and remains in hiding; he faces a second-degree murder charge for killing unarmed teenager Trayvon Martin.

"What George Zimmerman did was deceive the court" in saying he was indigent, a lawyer for Martin's family said, according to Reuters. Zimmerman's bond should be revoked, the Martin family's lawyer said.

But Zimmerman's lawyer called it an oversight, and said he'd just taken control of his client's defense fund a few days ago, the Associated Press reports.

"Quite honestly, with everything he is going through over the past few weeks, if that is the only oversight committed, then we'll deal with it," Mark O'Mara said.

Zimmerman's family used $5,000 from website donations, along with a second mortgage on a family home, to pay the 10% necessary to secure a bond for Zimmerman's $150,000 bail, O'Mara said.

A judge in Sanford, Fla., where Zimmerman's killing of Trayvon Martin took place, declined to raise Zimmerman's bail Friday. "I'm not going to make a snap decision," the judge said, according to Reuters.

The judge requested more information about Zimmerman's online fundraising to consider raising his bail. He asked O'Mara for a list of donors to Zimmerman's website, along with when they made their donations, The Christian Science Monitor reports.

Such disclosures could place George Zimmerman's website donors at risk of unwanted public scrutiny, Mark O'Mara replied, asking the judge to keep the donor list secret. The issue will likely be addressed at a future court date.

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