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Florida Bond Hearing Set for Trayvon Martin Killer

Thursday, 07 June 2012 01:32 PM EDT

The neighborhood watch volunteer charged in the killing of unarmed black teenager Trayvon Martin will get a new bond hearing later this month after his bail was revoked last week, court officials said on Thursday.

Michelle Kennedy, a spokeswoman for the Eighteenth Judicial Court in Sanford, the central Florida town where the 17-year-old Martin was gunned down on Feb. 26, said the bond hearing for George Zimmerman had been set for June 29.

Circuit Judge Kenneth Lester will preside over the hearing, Kennedy said in a statement.

She did not elaborate but Lester revoked Zimmerman's $150,000 bond on June 1 and ordered him back into custody after prosecutors said both he and his wife had misled the court about their financial status at an original bond hearing in April.

The couple failed to tell the court about at least $135,000 that anonymous donors had contributed to help bankroll Zimmerman's legal defense, and also withheld one of two valid passports issued in Zimmerman's name, the prosecutors said.

Zimmerman's lawyers have acknowledged in a statement posted on their website,, that Zimmerman hurt his credibility by claiming to be penniless and allowing his financial situation to be misstated in court.

They argued that he acted out "fear, mistrust and confusion" after he was branded "a racist murderer" in some accounts of the Trayvon Martin murder case, which has sparked debate about U.S. race relations and guns and self-defense laws.

Zimmerman, 28, is charged with second-degree murder for fatally shooting Martin as he walked through a gated community in Sanford where he was staying with his father.

He returned to a cell in the Seminole County jail on Sunday. His defense team has acknowledged that Zimmerman may have to remain there until his case goes to trial, which may not be until next year.

If convicted, Zimmerman faces a term of 25 years to life.

Police initially failed to arrest Zimmerman, the son of a white American father and mother from Peru, on the grounds that he was protected under Florida's "Stand Your Ground" self-defense law.

Zimmerman was arrested about six weeks after the killing by a special prosecutor, Angela Corey, who has strongly suggested that he was an overzealous watch-guard who wrongly suspected Martin of criminal activity.

In an affidavit of probable cause submitted to the court, two investigators assigned to the case by Corey reported that Zimmerman ignored police instructions not to follow Martin.

The affidavit also states that Martin was "profiled" by Zimmerman, despite the fact that he was "unarmed and was not committing any crime."

Zimmerman has pleaded not guilty and said he shot and killed Martin in self-defense after Martin broke his nose and slammed his head repeatedly into a sidewalk.

© 2024 Thomson/Reuters. All rights reserved.

Thursday, 07 June 2012 01:32 PM
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