Shellie Zimmerman, Wife of George, Guilty of Perjury

Wednesday, 28 Aug 2013 06:05 PM

By Ken Mandel

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Shellie Zimmerman, the wife of acquitted neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman, was sentenced to 100 hours of community service after pleading guilty Wednesday to a misdemeanor perjury charge.

Mrs. Zimmerman will also be on probation for one year, must pay court fees, and had to write a letter of apology for lying to Judge Kenneth Lester about the family's finances during a bond hearing last year, The Associated Press reported. Lester presided over George Zimmerman's case when the perjury was committed.

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"By lying under oath, I let my God down, I let your Honor and the court down, I let my family and friends down, and, most of all, I let myself down," Shellie Zimmerman wrote in the letter, according to the AP.

Last year, prosecutors found recorded telephone calls from the Seminole County jail in which Shellie and George Zimmerman spoke in code regarding moving more than $100,000 in amounts less than $10,000 to avoid having to report them to the Internal Revenue Service. The money had largely been donated by online supporters, but Mrs. Zimmerman had previously testified that the couple was destitute.

She avoided potential jail time by pleading guilty now.

Prosecutor John Guy told the AP that he agreed to the deal because Shellie Zimmerman didn't have a prior record and the misdemeanor plea would let her pursue a career in nursing.

"The important thing is that she apologized to Judge Lester for what she did," Guy said. "The proof is not in question in this case. It was only a matter of what should be done as far as the disposition."

George Zimmerman was cleared in July of second-degree murder and manslaughter charges in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin in Sanford, Fla. On Tuesday, his attorney announced plans to sue Florida for reimbursement of about $200,000 in court costs.

Under state law, an acquitted defendant can't be responsible for expenses incurred while held in custody, as long as a clerk or judge agrees to the refund. This includes money spent for expert witnesses, travel expenses, and fees for transcripts.

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