While in jail, George Zimmerman urged his wife to purchase and wear a bulletproof vest and to transfer money from one account to another that had been raised from a defense-fund website. Those are among the revelations that emerged from the release of recordings of conversations between the man charged with second-degree murder of Trayvon Martin and his wife, Shellie.
The tapes were released a week after Shellie Zimmerman was arrested for perjuring herself during her husband's bond hearing.
The Zimmermans did not disclose to the court that they had raised thousands of dollars from a website. At the initial bond hearing, the Zimmermans said they had limited resources, without mentioning the website. That led a Florida judge to arrest Shellie Zimmerman for making false statements.
In one call, George Zimmerman explained to his wife how to change a computer password at a credit union in order to transfer funds. In another call, Shellie Zimmerman said that money raised from the website was being used to pay the couple’s bills.
Shellie Zimmerman told her husband the website had crashed because of supporters leaving words of support, as well as donations.
“Wow, that is awesome,” Zimmerman said. “Those people need to start vocalizing themselves.”
Meanwhile, Americans’ view of George Zimmerman seemed to be easing with more people giving him the benefit of the doubt, according to research by the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press.
The center’s research also revealed that twice as many Black Americans considered the Trayvon Martin killing to be the nation’s most important story, compared with white Americans.
In the months following the shooting in February, a poll indicated that about 15 percent of respondents said they believed Zimmerman had acted in self-defense. In the most recent polls, that number rose to 40 percent.
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(Photo: Courtesy Seminole County Sheriff's Office)