A Florida judge on Friday revoked the bail for George Zimmerman in the Trayvon Martin case, saying he had misled the court about his finances, and ordered him to present himself to the court within 48 hours.
Prosecutors alleged in a court filing that Zimmerman, 28, hid from the court the fact that he had raised $135,000 on a website he set up before he was granted $150,000 bail on April 20. Zimmerman is facing second-degree murder charges in the shooting death of Martin, 17, in February.
In a hearing in Sanford, Fla., that Zimmerman did not attend, Judge Kenneth Lester said Zimmerman engaged in a "material falsehood" about his finances.
Assistant State Attorney Bernie de la Rionda said Zimmerman's wife, Shelly, led the court to believe they were penniless, which he called a “blatant lie."
De la Rionda said the Zimmermans spoke in "code" about moving finances around during telephone calls while George Zimmerman was in custody.
The state also alleged Zimmerman held a second passport after surrendering one to the court when bail was granted. In revoking bail, Lester said he was not swayed by arguments about the second passport, often routinely obtained by people who lose their passports.
A Paypal account that George Zimmerman failed to reveal to the court during the bond hearing was linked to a website Zimmerman created to raise money for his defense in the Trayvon Martin case. NBC's Kerry Sanders reports.
Zimmerman's attorney, Mark O'Mara, said it was his fault the court did not have the second passport earlier.
Trayvon Martin family attorney Benjamin Crump said Lester's finding that "Zimmerman was dishonest is very important because his credibility is the most important thing in this entire case."
"Credibility is the issue and we think it is the most important ruling so far in this entire case," Crump said.
The revocation motion was filed as a hearing opened on the confidentiality of evidence in the case, including Zimmerman’s statement to police.
A consortium of more than a dozen media groups is asking the judge not to seal records in the case. Prosecutors and Zimmerman's attorney fear witnesses will be harassed if their names are publicized, but the media consortium says that's not a good enough reason to keep what is usually a public record from being released.
On Friday, De la Rionda asked that the names of witnesses be sealed. Lester said it would take several weeks to review evidence before unsealing any.
O'Mara said he concurred with the state's request to seal the identities of witnesses, because witnesses would be subject to ongoing requests for information from the media, he said, and their stories could change during retellings published in the press. He added that he does not "deny" freedom of press, but wants "one trial" before a jury in a case that has enormous pressure from the "blogosphere."
After learning that jailhouse conversations were held between George Zimmerman and his wife, concerning an effort to misrepresent the amount of money available to them, the court revokes Zimmerman's bond.
Regarding Zimmerman's statements to police, O'Mara said he would like 30 days to review them before a decision is made on making them public. O'Mara said if Zimmerman's statements were not made voluntarily, he could file a motion to prevent them from being shown at trial. He added that a delay is "not unreasonable."
“I would suggest that this case is months and months and months away from a trial date," he said, adding, "We're six months out from finishing discovery."
Zimmerman is accused of killing Martin as he walked through a gated residential community in Sanford, Fla., near Orlando, on Feb. 26.
Police initially declined to arrest Zimmerman, who claimed self-defense, but a special prosecutor who was subsequently appointed charged Zimmerman with second-degree murder.
Msnbc.com's Jim Gold contributed to report. Follow him on Facbeook here.
George Zimmerman's attorney, Mark O'Mara, reacts to Judge Kenneth Lester's decision to revoke his client's bond.
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