AFRICANGLOBE – Shellie Zimmerman appeared in court Tuesday afternoon and sat silently as a judge refused to dismiss the perjury charge against her.
Zimmerman is the wife of George Zimmerman, the Neighborhood Watch volunteer who’s accused of murdering Trayvon Martin, an unarmed Black 17-year-old, in Sanford one year ago.
According to prosecutors, Shellie Zimmerman lied at her husband’s April 20 bond hearing when she testified that the couple had no money.
In truth, they were awash in cash, according to the couple’s financial records. During the previous two weeks, more than $130,000 had come flooding in from online donors contributing to George Zimmerman’s defense.
Recorded phone calls at the Seminole County Jail between Zimmerman, who was locked up at the time, and his wife suggest he was directing her about where to deposit the money, and she was following his orders.
In June, Special Prosecutor Angela Corey, the elected state attorney in Jacksonville, charged Shellie Zimmerman with perjury. Shellie Zimmerman was jailed for a few hours and then released on $1,000 bail.
Since then, she has lived in hiding with her husband, who is awaiting trial on a second-degree murder charge.
After today’s hearing, defense attorney Kelly Sims said, “She’s getting stronger. … She’s a strong woman. She’s going to be OK.”
Sims asked Circuit Judge Marlene Alva to dismiss the perjury count. He argued that because his client’s testimony happened in Seminole County — not Jacksonville, where Corey was elected — she does not have jurisdiction.
Prosecutor John I. Guy contends that the executive order by Gov. Rick Scott, naming Corey special prosecutor, authorized her to investigate and prosecute “all matters pertaining to the death of Trayvon Martin.”
That covers Shellie Zimmerman’s statements in court, he argued.
But Sims said, “Mr. Martin was already gone by the time of this April 20 bond hearing.”
The judge sided with the state. She said that because the statements being challenged happened at a bond hearing for Trayvon’s killer, the governor’s executive order was broad enough.
Shellie Zimmerman sat at a defense table next to her attorney and said nothing during the 15-minute hearing.
Her husband, George Zimmerman, did not appear.
Sims left the courthouse, predicting that Shellie Zimmerman would be acquitted.
If you study carefully the questions she was asked, he said, she answered truthfully.
“It’s all about specificity,” he said.
He did not elaborate.
A transcript of her testimony shows that defense attorney Mark O’Mara asked her if she had “major assets that you have which you can liquidate reasonably to assist in coming up with money for a bond?”
She replied, “None that I know of.”
Asked O’Mara, “Are you of any financial means where you can assist in those (legal) costs?”
Her answer: “Um, not — not that I’m aware of.”
According to prosecution records, she had $57,000 in her personal credit union account that day.