George Zimmerman is at it again. On his website he is asking the public to send him more money to fight his prosecution for killing 17-year-old Trayvon Martin. In court, his lawyers are asking the judge to delay the trial for several more months to give them sufficient prepare his defense.
Zimmerman’s fundraising efforts through his website brought him a barrage of criticism last year, when many accused him of trying to profit financially from killing the teenager last February in Sanford, Fla.
Zimmerman and his wife Shellie also got in legal trouble after he claimed he was without funds in a bail hearing, and prosecutors uncovered evidence that they were hiding the money he was receiving from public donations.
Prosecutors alleged that Shellie Zimmerman lied when she told a judge that they were broke before her husband was granted bail in April. Recordings showed that from his jail cell, Zimmerman gave his wife step-by-step instructions on how to change a password and clear security questions so she could move money. He also gave her orders to withdraw specific amounts and directed her to pay bills. As a result, prosecutors charged Shellie Zimmerman with perjury.
Last month, a security company, Associated Investigative Services, filed suit against Zimmerman, his wife and his attorney, Mark O’Mara, accusing them of failing to pay $27,000 for protection services.
In November, Zimmerman began selling his autograph in an effort to raise money. At the time, he had raised more than $200,000 from those who believe he was justified in shooting Martin during what Zimmerman claims was a struggle for his gun.
Zimmerman’s website now says that his defense fund has raised more than $314,000 since he was charged. Of that amount, $95,000 was spent on bail; almost $62,000 was spent on living expenses during the past eight months; and $56,100 was spent on security. According to the site, the living expenses were relatively high because Zimmerman had to reside at extended-stay hotels until he could find a place to rent, after his bail conditions were changed to restrict him to Seminole County, Fla.
Zimmerman previously had his bond revoked and was ordered back to jail for 30 days after misleading authorities about the amount of money he had raised.
Zimmerman’s attorney, O’Mara, said the defense could cost up to $1 million.
“The state has virtually unlimited resources to prosecute George,” O’Mara says on Zimmerman’s defense fund website. “To finance his defense, however, George relies on the generosity of individuals who believe he is innocent.”
In addition, Zimmerman’s attorneys want his second-degree murder trial to be moved from June to November because they say prosecutors have been slow to turn over evidence.
O’Mara said, as an example, that a state attorney’s office representative removed Martin’s cell phone from an evidence locker to have it sent to California for analysis. O’Mara said the state has refused to give him any information about the agency and the type of tests run on the phone.
There is a hearing scheduled for April when Zimmerman will argue that he was acting in self-defense. The judge previously has said that hearing will be at least 45 days before the trial.