Trayvon Martin shooter turns himself in after bond revoked

June 5th, 2012 - 12:00 am ICT by BNO News  

SANFORD, FLORIDA (BNO NEWS) — Florida neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman, who has been charged with murder in the shooting death of unarmed black teenager Trayvon Martin, turned himself in Sunday after a judge revoked his bond for allegedly lying to the court.

Zimmerman, 28, wore a white plaid shirt and jeans when he arrived at the John E. Polk Correctional Facility (JEPCF) at the Seminole County Sheriff’s Office in Sanford on Sunday afternoon. Escorted by two police officials, he arrived at the jail in a white unmarked minivan after being earlier taken into custody.

“At approximately 1:25 (p.m.) today, George Zimmerman met two members of the Sheriff’s office in the area of Lake Mary at I-4,” said Seminole County Sheriff Donald Eslinger. “He was placed into custody and transported to the correctional facility. He is being booked and processed as per Judge Lester’s order, [and] he’ll be held on a no-bond status.”

Zimmerman will be housed in administrative confinement, segregated from the general population due to the high-profile nature of the case. “Zimmerman’s cell is designed to hold two inmates and is approximately 67 square feet (6.2 square meters),” sheriff’s office spokeswoman Kim Cannaday said. “It is equipped with a toilet and two beds. A mattress, pillow, bed sheets, and blanket are provided.”

The neighborhood watch volunteer was arrested and charged with second-degree murder on April 11, almost two months after Zimmerman shot and killed 17-year-old Trayvon in Sanford. Zimmerman had told a 911 operator that Trayvon was acting suspiciously and, despite being told to stay in his vehicle, got out of his SUV after which a confrontation ensued. Zimmerman claims he was being attacked by Trayvon when he fired the shot.

The shooting prompted allegations that Zimmerman, who is half Hispanic, was motivated by racism, a claim which has been denied by Zimmerman’s relatives, friends and supporters who say he has been unfairly vilified by the media. The investigation has also been complicated by Florida’s controversial “Stand Your Ground” law, which allows people to use deadly force when they believe they are in danger of being killed or suffering serious injuries.

During a bail hearing on April 20, Zimmerman apologized to Trayvon’s family. “I wanted to say I am sorry for the loss of your son. I did not know how old he was, I thought he was a little bit younger than I am and I did not know if he was armed or not,” he said. Trayvon’s family rejected the apology, questioning his timing and motivation.

Zimmerman was released on a $150,000 bond on April 23, but Judge Kenneth Lester revoked his bond on Friday and ordered him to be remanded into custody no later than 2:30 p.m. local time on Sunday afternoon. He arrived back in Central Florida on late Saturday evening and surrendered to police about 65 minutes before Sunday’s deadline.

Zimmerman’s wife testified in April that the couple had no assets or income to put toward a bond, but prosecutors say she knew about PayPal donations for her husband’s legal defense fund. These funds now total more than $200,000, but she failed to disclose the money at his bond hearing.

“Mr. Zimmerman’s lawyers will request a new bond hearing where they can address the court’s concerns regarding the representation of funds available at the time of the original hearing on April 20,” the law firm of attorney Mark O’Mara said in a statement on Sunday afternoon. “The vast majority of the funds in question are in an independently managed trust, and neither Mr. Zimmerman or his attorneys have direct access to the money.”

The prosecution released the transcripts of several phone conversations in which George and wife Shelly Zimmerman apparently discuss the amounts of money available. “So total everything how much are we looking at?” George asked in one call on April 16. “Like $155,” Shelly replied, but apparently meant $155,000.

On May 8, Zimmerman waived his right to a speedy trial to allow the defense team the time needed to prepare for trial. It is expected that the case will not be ready for trial until some time in 2013, and the bond hearing this week will determine whether Zimmerman will have to spend these months in jail.

If convicted of second degree murder, a murder that is not premeditated or planned in advance, Zimmerman could face a prison sentence of up to 25 years to life.

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