Shellie Zimmerman, the wife of the Florida man charged with fatally shooting Trayvon Martin, was arrested and charged Tuesday afternoon with one count of perjury, according to law enforcement officials.
The charges stem from what prosecutors have described as a series of lies and distortions made by the couple during an earlier bond hearing in April, when George Zimmerman and his family claimed they were broke. By late Tuesday afternoon, Shellie Zimmerman posted bond, set at $1,000.
Shortly after the initial bond hearing, it was revealed that George Zimmerman had raised upwards of $200,000 via a website set up to collect funds for his defense. At a June 1 hearing, his bond was revoked after prosecutors presented recorded conversations in which Zimmerman and his wife seem to collude to keep the funds hidden. Zimmerman instructed his wife to “pay off all the bills,” which included those for American Express and Sam’s Club credit cards.
“This court was led to believe they didn’t have a single penny,” prosecutor Bernie De la Rionda said at the hearing. “It was misleading, and I don’t know what words to use other than it was a blatant lie.”
Prosecutors also said that Zimmerman had not turned in a second passport as part of the conditions of his bond, and that he and his wife discussed the passport while he was in custody at the Seminole County jail on April 17. The conversation was recorded by jail officials, according to court filings.
Defendant: Do you know what? I think my passport is in that bag.Shelly Zimmerman: I have one for you in safety deposit box…
Defendant: Ok, you hold on to that.
According to court documents filed Tuesday afternoon, prosecutors obtained official bank records showing that between April 16 and April 19, in the days leading up to Zimmerman’s initial bond hearing, Shellie Zimmerman had transferred more than $74,000 from her husband’s account to her own.
There were a total of eight transfers, according to the documents — four transfers in the amount of $9,990, two for $9,999, and two others for $7,500. Even after Zimmerman’s release, the large transfers of cash continued. On April 24, Shellie Zimmerman transferred more than $85,000 from her account to her husband’s.
By Trymaine Lee