By Yamiche Alcindor
The wife of George Zimmerman, the neighborhood watch volunteer acquitted in the killing of Trayvon Martin, has been sentenced to one year probation and 100 hours of community service after pleading guilty to a misdemeanor perjury charge for lying at her husband’s bond hearing.
Shellie Zimmerman, in court Wednesday, admitted that she perjured herself before Judge Kenneth Lester at an April 22, 2012, bond hearing for her husband. At that hearing, she told Lester, who was then presiding over her husband’s case, that the couple had little funds.
But in a court filing, State Attorney Angela Corey said Shellie Zimmerman perjured herself by failing to reveal that George Zimmerman had collected more than $100,000 through Internet donations.
George Zimmerman instructed Shellie Zimmerman on how to transfer money from his bank account into hers and his sister’s while he was in jail in April 2012, according to recordings of jail calls released by the Florida State Attorney’s Office. According to an affidavit, Shellie Zimmerman transferred more than $74,000 to her personal account days before the April bond hearing. Nearly $50,000 was transferred to an account held by Zimmerman’s sister.
Taped phone calls between the couple revealed that they had discussed the money transfers in code to hide the funds, according to the affidavit. Prosecutors allege that Zimmerman and his wife talked about $10, $20 and $100 to mask the fact that they were referring to thousands of dollars. The calls also showed that George Zimmerman instructed his wife to “pay off all the bills,” including payments to American Express and Sam’s Club.