Trayvon Martin Case: George Zimmerman Judge Looks at Donations, Bail Amount
(SANFORD, Fla.) — Prosecutors in the Trayvon Martin shooting case asked a Florida judge Friday to increase the bail amount for George Zimmerman after news that the 17-year-old’s killer had raised more than $200,000 through a Paypal account on his website.
Circuit Court judge Kenneth Lester Jr. said he wanted to scrutinize the account to learn more about who opened the site, who managed it and exactly how much money it contained.
The site called TheRealGeorgeZimmerman.com was closed earlier this week after Zimmerman’s attorney Mark O’Mara took control over and deposited the money in trust accounts, he told the court Friday. Zimmerman faces second-degree murder charges for shooting 17-year-old Martin on Feb. 26.
In a CNN interview Thursday, O’Mara said he was surprised to learn about the money. “He asked me what to do with his PayPal accounts, and I asked him what he was talking about,” O’Mara said. “He said those were the accounts that had the money from the website he had. And there was about … $204,000 that had come in to date.”
Judge Lester said he would not make any “snap” decisions Friday as he deliberates what to do regarding the previously undisclosed account.
O’Mara asked that the names of the donors requested by the judge be revealed only in the judge’s chambers to shield the hitherto anonymous Zimmerman donors from “ridicule and danger.”
Zimmerman, 28, was a neighborhood watch volunteer when he saw Martin walking through his gated community, followed him, and shot him. Zimmerman was released early Monday on $150,000 bail. His family put up 10 percent to secure his release. His current location is unknown.
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