U.S: George Zimmerman has bail revoked in Trayvon Martin case
A Florida judge on Friday revoked the bail for George Zimmerman in the Trayvon Martin case, saying he had misled the court about his finances, and ordered him to present himself to the court within 48 hours.
Prosecutors alleged that Zimmerman, 28, hid from the court the fact that he had raised $135,000 on a website he set up before he was granted $150,000 bail on April 20. Zimmerman is facing second-degree murder charges in the shooting death of Martin, 17, in February.
In a hearing in Sanford, Fla., that Zimmerman did not attend, Judge Kenneth Lester said Zimmerman engaged in a “material falsehood” about his finances.
The state also alleged Zimmerman held a second passport after surrendering one to the court when bail was granted. In revoking bail, Lester said he was not swayed by arguments about the second passport, often routinely obtained by people who lose their passports.
Zimmerman’s attorney, Mark O’Mara, said it was his fault the court did not have the second passport earlier.
The revocation motion was filed as a hearing opened on the confidentiality of evidence in the case, including Zimmerman’s statement to police.
Assistant State Attorney Bernie de la Rionda asked that the names of witnesses be sealed.
He told Judge Kenneth Lester that the case is being tried in the public court as opposed to the court of law, partially due to social media — including Twitter and other technologies that he added he has “never heard of.”
He called the topic an area where “state and defense will agree.”
A consortium of more than a dozen media groups is asking the judge not to seal some records in the case. Prosecutors and Zimmerman’s attorney fear witnesses will be harassed if their names are publicized.
The media groups say those aren’t good enough reasons to keep what is usually a public record from being released.
Zimmerman is accused of killing Martin as he walked through a gated residential community in Sanford, Fla., near Orlando, on Feb. 26.
Police initially declined to arrest Zimmerman, who claimed self-defense, but a special prosecutor who was subsequently appointed charged Zimmerman with second-degree murder.