(MIAMI) — The wife of George Zimmerman, the Florida man charged with second-degree murder for the death of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin, was arrested Tuesday and charged with perjury.
Seminole County sheriffs picked up Shellie Zimmerman at the home where she was in hiding on one count of perjury, the latest fallout from a series of taped conversations that landed her husband back behind bars a week and a half ago.
It took a little more than an hour for Mrs. Zimmerman, 25, to pay the $1,000 bond after prosecutors filed a warrant contending that she “knowingly made a false statement” during her husband’s initial bond hearing on April 20.
On April 9, George Zimmerman had launched the website therealgeorgezimmerman.com and within weeks received more than $200,000 in donations to help with his legal expenses. But during the bond hearing on April 20, Zimmerman’s wife testified that the couple was financially indigent.
Appearing via telephone due to fear for her life, when asked by her husband’s attorney Mark O’Mara if they added any major financial assets, she responded no.
During cross-examination she was again questioned about her finances. Assistant State Attorney Bernie de la Rionda asked her, “In terms of the ability of your husband to make a bond amount, you all had no money, is that correct?” Shellie Zimmerman responded yes.
At a June 1 hearing that was called to discuss what evidence in the case against her husband should be made public, prosecutors presented surprise evidence that included at least four jailhouse phone conversations in which George and Shellie Zimmerman were apparently discussing tiny amounts of money, but were allegedly referring to some of the $200,000 supporters had poured into his PayPal account.
At the time of the recordings, Zimmerman had just been recently arrested and charged with second-degree murder in the death of Martin, an unarmed 17-year-old.
During one call on April 16, Zimmerman and his wife were taped discussing their bank accounts.
George Zimmerman: “In my account do I have at least $100?”
Shellie Zimmerman: “No.”
George Zimmerman: “How close am I?”
Shellie Zimmerman: “$8. $8.60.”
George Zimmerman: “Really? So total everything how much are we looking at?”
Shellie Zimmerman: “Like $155″
The prosecutor noted that Shellie Zimmerman actually meant $155,000.
He said the couple knew that their conversation was being recorded but that they were speaking in code and knowingly withheld from the court the amount of money brought in from therealgeorgezimmerman.com, a now-defunct website.
Information provided by Zimmerman’s attorney a week after he was released on bail showed that the couple had $135,000 in their bank account a day before the April 20 hearing.
Zimmerman’s attorney Mark O’Mara said that the couple was not deliberately hiding money, and that it was “more of an innocent misunderstanding than a devious attempt to hide money.”
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
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