SANFORD, Fla. – In a statement posted online Thursday, George Zimmerman’s legal defense team made a renewed plea for donations only hours after a Florida judge ruled to raise Zimmerman’s bond to $1 million.
The statement, posted online to the official website for Zimmerman’s legal defense, contains some of the most urgent language yet from a team whose regular, often restrained remarks over the Internet and social media have become part of the fabric of this case.
“We steadfastly maintain that George Zimmerman acted in self-defense and that he is not guilty of second degree murder,” the statement reads.
The website is run by the law firm of Mark O’Mara, Zimmerman’s attorney.
“For those that think Mr. Zimmerman has been treated unfairly by the media,” the statement adds later, “for those who feel Mr. Zimmerman has been falsely accused as a racist, for those who feel this case is an affront to their constitutional rights – now is the time to show your support.”
Earlier Thursday, Seminole County Circuit Judge Kenneth R. Lester Jr. ruled that Zimmerman’s bond would be raised to $1 million dollars in light of revelations that Zimmerman allowed his wife, Shellie Zimmerman, to mislead the court about the couple’s finances during an April 20 bond hearing.
Last month, Lester yanked Zimmerman’s original $150,000 bond and ordered him back to jail when prosecutors showed the couple didn’t disclose at least $130,000 in donations raised in a PayPal account.
“The evidence is clear that the Defendant and his wife acted in concert, but primarily at the Defendant’s direction, to conceal their cash holdings,” Lester wrote in his statement Thursday.
Zimmerman, 28, is accused of second-degree murder in the Feb. 26 shooting death of Trayvon Martin, 17, inside a gated community here. Zimmerman was a neighborhood watch volunteer.
Zimmerman, who pleaded not guilty, told police he had acted in self-defense after Martin punched him and knocked his head against the pavement.
The statement issued Thursday by Zimmerman’s lawyers says Zimmerman will have to pay a bail bond company $100,000 dollars – 10 percent of the $1 million dollar bail – plus demonstrate he has collateral worth $1 million.
“George Zimmerman and his family do not have anywhere near $1 million for collateral so even if we pay the $100,000 fee, the bail bond company will have to agree to work with us on how the collateral would be posted. We are encouraged we can work this out,” the statement says.
Zimmerman remains in solitary confinement at the jail in Seminole County.
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