Shellie Zimmerman Arrested, Charged With Perjury

Not a good day for the Zimmermans. Shellie Zimmerman has been arrested and charged with perjury. She has been released on a $1,000.00 bond.

You can read the capias and affidavit for her arrest here. The Affidavit says the money was transferred not only by Shellie Zimmerman into her and George's accounts at the credit union, but also using George's sister's account at the credit union. It also includes transcripts of additional jail calls, none of them good for George Zimmerman. The state says the calls show they transferred and withdrew money from a safety deposit box, and that many of Shellie's deposits and withdrawals were in amounts of $9,000.00, $9,990.00 or $9,999.00, which some might argue shows an intent to evade federal currency reporting requirements. He also directed her to use some of the money to pay their bills.

ABC breaks down the charges here. [More...]

Does this have anything to do with the murder charge against Zimmerman? No. Does it make it more or less likely he acted in self-defense when he shot Trayvon Martin? No. Does it mean he should not receive bond on June 29? No. We still don't know why he thought that money was not available to him for bond. All we know is that his lawyer has repeatedly said that for whatever reason, he didn't think it was.

Keep in mind, charges are not evidence, and Shellie Zimmerman, like her husband, is entitled to the presumption of innocence, both in a court of law and on TalkLeft. You can state your opinion, but you can not declare either one guilty of anything. And if your opinion is they did something wrong, please limit your comments expressing that to no more than four in this thread. Comments in excess of that amount or that declare either one guilty will be deleted.

Update: Legal Inssurrection, a blog by Cornell Law Prof William Jacobson, has an extensive post concluding the state's attorney is overreaching. He points out,

So it is fair to ask, having charged perjury, what is the specific false statement made by Shellie Zimmerman? The Criminal Information (embedded at the bottom of this post) does not say. Instead, the accompanying Affidvit recites testimony, phone call transcripts, and evidence of money received and transferred. Again, that all is relevant to whether George deceived the Court at the bond hearing.

But nowhere in the criminal Information or Affidavit of Probable Cause is a specific sentence or set of words identified as false with an explanation of why it was false.

Prof. Jacobson cites a Florida case on perjury, Cohen v. State, 985 So.2d 1207 (Fla. App. 3 Dist. 2008):

This Court has held that statements alleged to be perjurious must be of “empirical fact” and not of opinion, belief or perception…. One of the essential elements of perjury in official proceedings is that the person making the statement does not believe it to be true… The questions posed to elicit perjured testimony must be asked with the appropriate specificity necessary to result in an equally specific statement of fact.
He also points out, as does a commenter on his site, that the state's attorney truncated the transcript of Shellie Z's testimony in the affidavit for her charge omitting that she said her brother-in-law would know and he was available. I brought this up in the context of the hearing to revoke George Zimmerman's bond:
The judge based his June 1 ruling on the state's motion, which didn't even accurately describe the wife's testimony. It left out the part about her brother-in-law knowing how much money was in the account. The exhibit to its motion was three pages of the transcript, pages 15, 26 and 27. One page did have the language omitted from the motion,  but who knows if the judge even bothered to read the exhibit -- he probably wouldn't think he needed to fact-check the state's attorney. The judge hadn't reviewed all the tapes, there were over 150 of them, and the state evidently didn't provide transcripts except as to the portions it cherry-picked.

In his closing argument on April 20, O'Mara said he (O-Mara) didn't know how much money was in the website account. The Judge didn't say "Well, find out and get back to me", he said O'Mara's motion for bond "was well taken." The Judge knew there was a fund on April 20 because the Prosecutor had cross-examined Shellie on it. The judge heard her say her brother-in-law was available by phone and could answer the question. If it was so important to the Judge, why didn't he say, "let's get him on the phone, I need to know that."

My new word for the day: ellipsis. I wish I knew that was what it was when writing about the NBC mis-edits, I could have been so much more succinct.

Note that in the Affidavit of Probable Cause the prosecution did not use an ellipsis or any other indication to show that words were omitted.

As Prof. Jacobsen's commenter notes, the misleading truncation in Shellie's affidavit is reminiscent of what the state did in George's affidavit, when it left out that George sustained injuries and claimed Trayvon attacked him. It's presenting the judge with half-truths. If this is how the state tells the truth when sworn under oath, it may have more credibility problems than George or Shellie. Maybe we'll hear more from Dershowitz on this soon.

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    this seems important to some (5.00 / 3) (#29)
    by Jeralyn on Tue Jun 12, 2012 at 09:13:41 PM EST
    today but in a year when this case goes to trial it will be overshadowed by whatever evidence there is or isn't to support the charges.

    A jury is not going to convict George Zimmerman of murder because he failed to disclose available funds at a bond hearing. If the state doesn't have evidence to counter his self-defense claim, it will lose. If it has reliable evidence to counter it, it will win.

    The jury will look for evidence to support or refute Zimmerman's claim. Witness statements, injuries, times and travel routes, forensics and probably a lot we don't know about yet will be most important. Also more important: Discrepancies and inconsistencies in evidence presented by both sides. If there is enough evidence to support Zimmerman, and flaws in the state's evidence, the jury will not disregard it  because he stayed silent at his bond hearing.

    They may not convict George (5.00 / 4) (#30)
    by Anne on Tue Jun 12, 2012 at 09:23:08 PM EST
    because of what he failed to disclose at a bond hearing, but when this goes to trial, and there are all those blanks to fill in with respect to the events of that night, it's reasonable to think that the jury will consider - should consider - George's pattern of being, shall we say, "flexible" with the truth.

    And at this stage, it is a pattern, one that is not helping George.


    Elaborate (5.00 / 2) (#32)
    by Rojas on Tue Jun 12, 2012 at 09:38:25 PM EST
    on the pattern.

    The future jury is unlikely (5.00 / 3) (#35)
    by expy on Tue Jun 12, 2012 at 09:55:09 PM EST
    to hear much, if any, of it.

    But it is going to impact proceedings every step of the way until then.

    It is going to impact the amount of bond & conditions for release, assuming that the judge sets a new bond.

    It is going to impact the attorney-client relationship, and tactical decisions the attorney makes along the way.

    It is going to impact the amount of money that can be raised for the defense in the future, and the way that money is handled.

    And it is going to impact the way this Judge views the testimony of this defendant at an anticipated Stand Your Ground hearing. That's important because a successful motion would prevent the case from ever going to the jury -- but now the same Judge who is likely to rule on that motion has been given a very strong reason to be skeptical of what he hears from the defense.

    And down the line,  if Zimmerman is in fact convicted of anything, it may very well impact the way a probation officer views him in preparing a sentencing recommendation, and the way the judge views him in making a sentencing determination.


    What does that have to do with the simple fact (5.00 / 1) (#112)
    by deanno on Wed Jun 13, 2012 at 10:36:37 AM EST
    that TM was reported as "running" away SOUTH and the fact (according to DeeDee) that he was "outside his dad house" and THEN magically turned up NORTH 70 yards or so where the body was found?

    This would indicate that Martin had doubled back to confront Zimmerman.  The facts speaks for themselves, independent of Zimmerman's "credibility".


    Your "FACTS" (5.00 / 0) (#132)
    by miloh on Wed Jun 13, 2012 at 02:43:34 PM EST

    hadn't heard there was magic involved (none / 0) (#185)
    by unitron on Thu Jun 14, 2012 at 04:19:51 AM EST
    Perhaps I'm mistaken, but you seem to be assuming that while Martin was doing the 70 yard dash in both directions Zimmerman was just standing there "like a potted palm" at the T for at least 3 minutes.

    He gets out of his vehicle at 7:11:48 PM, by 7:12:14 PM all of the running or jogging and the huffing and puffing and the "we don't need you to do that" is over, so with the general consensus that the start of the struggle was around 7:15:30 PM, what's he doing all that time?


    You're wrong! (5.00 / 1) (#186)
    by deanno on Thu Jun 14, 2012 at 08:24:30 AM EST
    From the moment Zimmerman hung up the phone with Sean the operator, to the time when the first 911 call was logged in is exactly 135 seconds-not 3 minutes.  If you deduct 30-45 seconds for eyewitnesses to process what is going on, make the decision to call 911 and get to their phones, then it's around 90 seconds.

    90 seconds would be just about the time needed for Zimmerman to walk west to where his truck was and be confronted by Martin who was approaching from the south.  Zim's keys were found near the "T" of the two crosswalks-exactly where he would have been if he were starled and attacked by Martin--as I believe (and so did the cops) he was.


    Time stamp error? (none / 0) (#190)
    by Cylinder on Thu Jun 14, 2012 at 11:01:26 AM EST
    From the moment Zimmerman hung up the phone with Sean the operator, to the time when the first 911 call was logged in is exactly 135 seconds-not 3 minutes.

    That's also assuming that investigators didn't make the same time stamp error that was made in the NEN call. Have we seen the 911 logs?

    If the same mistake was made then the window narrows even more.


    GZ's call continued for 1+min beyond 7:12:14... (none / 0) (#210)
    by heidelja on Sat Jun 16, 2012 at 05:19:30 PM EST
    ...at 7:12 he was about at the walkway T, he should be thought to have continued eastward to the front side of buildings facing east (30yds from T)...before his call ended one can hear tapping sounds on the audio which are consistent to metal knockers knocking on steel metal front doors typically found in new multi family housing in Florida..so between aprox 7:13+ when his call ended and the hypothetical 7:15:30+ he probably continued knocking on doors before returning to his vehicle parked on the front side of the buiidings facing west (about 30yds from T)...taking the same path back to his vehicle he would have reached the T which was the aprox location (merely a few yards south) where TM was shot when gunshots were recorded at aprox 7:16+...some commenters have stated GZ's keys had been dropped at the T

    Will they convict him (5.00 / 1) (#58)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Tue Jun 12, 2012 at 11:15:03 PM EST
    Based on what Martin's family and their lawyers say?  At one point every utterance by the Martin team was viewed as highly prejudicial.

    Now that the Zimmerman's affirmatively do something that makes themselves look bad it is no big deal and will be easily forgotten?  

    I don't mind having a standard of whether pre-trial actions and statements will influence a trial.  I just want us to pick one that doesn't change based on which side is helped.


    But, you see... (5.00 / 2) (#78)
    by unitron on Wed Jun 13, 2012 at 01:40:43 AM EST
    ...the nice thing about standards, as they say in the computer industry, is that there are so many of them.

    One significant bit here (none / 0) (#61)
    by msaroff on Tue Jun 12, 2012 at 11:27:42 PM EST
    Is that she will almost certainly not testify now as a character witness, because if she testifies, the prosecution will bring it up.

    That is (none / 0) (#206)
    by heidelja on Sat Jun 16, 2012 at 08:43:02 AM EST
    if she is convicted! What if she is aquited? Can that be brought up as though she was harassed? What if she has been "convicted" but is under appeal at the time of GZ's trial? It could be seen to create land mines for the State in the long run.  Isn't this why perjury charges come after and not at the outset? Certainly Lester will not preside over her case.

    What did she lie about? (5.00 / 3) (#40)
    by William JD on Tue Jun 12, 2012 at 10:37:56 PM EST
    I haven't yet found a working link to the capias, but if ABC's characterization of the basis for the charge is accurate, the charge is far more frivolous than the charge against George, who could actually be guilty even though the evidence I'm aware of doesn't come close to proving that he is guilty beyond a reaasonable doubt.

    ABC says,

    -- THE TESTIMONY: At her husband's April 20 bail hearing, Shellie Zimmerman testified under oath by phone that the couple had no significant assets that could be used to post bail. When pressed by prosecutors about her husband's website, she said she had no knowledge of how much money had been collected.

    But that's not what she said.  Not even close!

    She said that she didn't have any assets that could be "liquidated", not that she didn't have any assets that could be "used" to post bail.  Obviously, a checking account holding the Paypal funds can't be liquidated since it's already liquid.  There's a reason the Fed counts checking accounts as M1.  

    Moreover, the prosecution already knew about the Paypal funds; we know this because the prosecution asked questions about them despite Shellie's answers to the other questions about her assets.

    Nor did she say that she had "no knowledge of how much money had been collected" in the Paypal account.  She was asked whether she "ha[d] an estimate" of the amount of funds in the account.  That is asking whether, before the question was asked, she had estimated the amount of such funds.  It's like asking a witness, "Do you have a summary of the transactions between you and the defendant?"  It is most definitely not the same as asking the witness to give an estimate or give a summary.

    Moreover, any uncertainty about whether Shellie was lying is largely due to the prosecution's pitiful effort at cross-examination.  Where are all those tiresome questions you hear so often:  Were you ever told it was more than $5,000?  More than $20,000? More than $50,000?  More than $100,000?  

    They never asked her to give an estimate (i.e., a guess), nor did they ever even ask her what she actually knew.  ABC is wrong when it claims she had knowledge of the amount of funds in the account but claimed she didn't.

    The capias shows that (none / 0) (#47)
    by amateur on Tue Jun 12, 2012 at 10:52:30 PM EST
    she transferred $74k from her husband's account to her own, and took $18k in cash.  She states that GZ has all together about $155k.  Then she testified that they had no money.  

    If you could save me the trouble (5.00 / 1) (#115)
    by Peter G on Wed Jun 13, 2012 at 11:52:51 AM EST
    Can you provide the direct quotation from the transcript, not a characterization, that the DA's capias claims is the precise, perjurious statement for which Mrs. Z is charged?  A statement, to be perjury, must be literally false, not merely misleading, vague, evasive or incomplete.

    Peter, is "capias" a commonly-used (none / 0) (#116)
    by oculus on Wed Jun 13, 2012 at 11:57:15 AM EST
    term in the jurisdictions in which you practice?  I had to look it up and don't remember ever hearing the word in law school or in criminal practice in CA.  

    It's an old-fashioned word (none / 0) (#141)
    by Peter G on Wed Jun 13, 2012 at 04:14:32 PM EST
    for an arrest warrant, I believe.  Somehow, I knew that (if I'm not mistaken ... in which event I didn't know it!). Not commonly used currently anywhere I know of or practice.  But seemingly in Florida, I guess.

    its a kind of arrest warrant (none / 0) (#145)
    by Jeralyn on Wed Jun 13, 2012 at 04:22:53 PM EST
    it's used when the state files an information. It's a warrant directing the sheriff to arrest and bring the person to court.

    I think all capias warrants are arrest warrants but not all arrest warrants are capias warrants. I never heard of it either before this case.


    Peter, here it is (none / 0) (#142)
    by Jeralyn on Wed Jun 13, 2012 at 04:15:04 PM EST
    from the Capias: First alleged perjured statement:

    Specifically, the following dialogue occurred between Mr. O'Mara and Shellie Zimmerman (Transcript,page 15):

    Q. Other major assets that you have which you can liquidate reasonably to assist
    in coming up with money for a bond?
    A. None that I know of.
    Q. I have discussed with you the pending motion to have your husband George
    declared indigent for cost, have I not?
    A. Yes, you have.
    Q. And is - - are you of any financial means where you can assist in those costs?
    A. Uhrn, not- - not that I'm aware of.
    Q: I understand that you do have other family members present with you, and I'll
    ask some more questions of them, but have you had discussions with them of at
    least trying to pull together some funds to accomplish a bond?
    A: We have discussed that---
    Q: Okay
    A: ----trying to pull together the members of the family to scrape up anything that
    we possibly can.

    I am not sure that either the questions (none / 0) (#161)
    by Peter G on Wed Jun 13, 2012 at 08:24:52 PM EST
    or the answers are precise and fact-specific enough to support a perjury prosecution; at least they might well not be under the federal perjury law.  I don't know anything about Florida perjury law, that's for sure.  For example, what does "major assets that you have which you can liquidate reasonably" cover and not cover? Only illiquid assets? How valuable does such an asset have to be to qualify as "major"? How easily liquidated is "reasonably"?  I mean, how hard is it to ask, "What bank accounts does your husband have?"  "How much is the balance in each of them?"  "Do you have a safety deposit box?"  "What is in it?"  "How much cash do you have at home?"  "Any cash anywhere else?"  Those are the kind of questions that can produce an answer that is perjurious.  (I realize the quoted questions are O'Mara's; the questions I framed should have been asked on cross by the DA.)

    Check out (none / 0) (#199)
    by heidelja on Fri Jun 15, 2012 at 11:14:31 PM EST
    Vargas v State at http://www.romingerlegal.com/floridacourts/court_opinions3/3d99-2407.html

    State v S Zimmerman should be seen as comatose from the start. The state MIGHT get a conviction at trial with a naive jury that lets the State tell it how to think, but it would be overturned on appeal. Her fate lies in the $$ she can raise for her defense, or a lawyer who will work for the free publicity.


    Vargas v State 3D99-2407 (none / 0) (#200)
    by heidelja on Sat Jun 16, 2012 at 12:22:13 AM EST
    states the following which all influence the matter of State v S Zimmerman

    1 - At the outset that "materiality" is not an element of the crime of perjury in Florida but is a threshold issue that a court must determine as a matter of law prior to trial.

    2 - To be material, statements must be germane to the inquiry, and have a bearing on a determination in the underlying case.  

    3 - The statement alleged to be perjury must be one of fact, and not one of opinion or belief. ....not grounded in perceptions at the time but one of empirical fact.

    4 - In addition, whether the questions posed to elicit the allegedly perjured testimony were asked with the appropriate specificity necessary to result in an equally specific statement of fact.



    Peter, Second Charged Statement (none / 0) (#143)
    by Jeralyn on Wed Jun 13, 2012 at 04:16:31 PM EST
    from the Affidavit attached to the Capias

    During cross examination by Assistant State Attorney Bernie de Ia Rionda, Shellie Zimmerman was again questioned about her finances. Specifically, the following dialogue occurred between Mr. de Ia Rionda and Shellie Zimmerman (Transcript, pages 26 & 27):

    Q. And you mentioned also, in terms of the ability of your husband to make a
    bond amount, that you all had no money, is that correct?
    A. To my knowledge, that is correct.
    Q: Were you aware of the website that Mr. Zimmerman or somebody on his
    behalf created?
    A: I'm aware of that website.
    Q: How much money is in that website right now? How much money as a result
    of that website was ---
    A: Currently, I do not know.
    Q: Do you have any estimate as to how much money has already been obtained
    or collected?
    A: I do not


    Selective editing of dialog in the affidavit (5.00 / 1) (#156)
    by Lina Inverse on Wed Jun 13, 2012 at 07:29:00 PM EST
    And as I discovered while finding out why the above quote didn't match my memory, the affidavit removes some of the dialog without any indication, like ellipsis, the word for the day if not this whole case (bolded):

    Q. And you mentioned also, in terms of the ability of your husband to make a bond amount, that you all had no money, is that correct?
    A. To my knowledge, that is correct.
    Q: Were you aware of the website that Mr. Zimmerman or somebody on his behalf created?
    A: I'm aware of that website.
    Q: How much money is in that website right now? How much money as a result of that website was --
    A: Currently, I do not know.
    Q: Who would know that?
    A: That would be my brother-in-law.
    Q: And is he -- I know he's not in the same room as you, but is he available so we can speak to him, too, or the Court can inquire through the State or the Defense?
    A: I'm sure that we could probably get him on the phone.
    Q: Okay. So he's not there now.
    A: No, he is not, sir.

    Q: Do you have any estimate as to how much money has already been obtained or collected?
    A: I do not.


    It doesn't help. (none / 0) (#160)
    by Anne on Wed Jun 13, 2012 at 08:22:21 PM EST
    Nor does an extended discussion of the meaning of "you."

    It doesn't matter that the brother-in-law was or wasn't there, that he was or wasn't put under oath to answer questions; based on what the recordings show Shellie knew, discussed and did in the several days just before the hearing, and how she chose to answer the plain and simple questions asked of her is what matters.

    And that's why she's in trouble.


    If the questions were actually "plain and (5.00 / 1) (#167)
    by Peter G on Wed Jun 13, 2012 at 09:10:07 PM EST
    simple," I would agree with you, Anne. But they were not. (See my comments ## 161-162.) For that reason, as explicated further in the addendum to Jeralyn's post quoting Prof. Jacobson, I don't think the State has a good perjury case against SZ here.

    Lawyers parse - that's your job; (5.00 / 1) (#168)
    by Anne on Wed Jun 13, 2012 at 09:27:58 PM EST
    that's why you see complexity where some of us regular folk see more simplicity.

    You may well be right, in terms of how this will all play out; it may not end up being enough to convict her of perjury, but it won't change the fact that she had these conversations, that she moved money into her account, put money in and took it out of a safe-depost box, all within some 72 hours of testifying by phone at the bond hearing that she had no means of assisting her husband with the costs of his defense.

    I don't think the average person is going to get much past those points - no one ever bought Clinton's "depends on what the meaning of 'is' is," did they?


    What you say about the average person (5.00 / 1) (#171)
    by Peter G on Wed Jun 13, 2012 at 09:38:00 PM EST
    may be true, Anne, but certainly does not undermine my point, which was solely focused on whether the DA had a good legal case of perjury, as defined in Florida law, against Zimmerman's wife.  And if he doesn't, but brought the charges anyway, then I have to ask whether that was a cheap shot to undermine the defense position in this case -- either to further poison the atmosphere, or to distract and upset the defendant.

    That's probably a fair question to ask, (5.00 / 1) (#173)
    by Anne on Wed Jun 13, 2012 at 09:51:44 PM EST
    Peter, and it's troubling to think that people's lives can be toyed with this way, if, in fact, that's what's at work here.

    If it is, I have to ask what Lester's agenda is - he's the one who mentioned the possibility of the state pursuing charges when he made his oral ruling on the bond revocation.  

    This is all seeming like sausage-making going to new levels of "ick."

    And I don't see it getting any better as this process moves forward.


    O.K. Now I'm more confused than ever (none / 0) (#175)
    by NYShooter on Wed Jun 13, 2012 at 10:14:27 PM EST
    Your critique was regarding the "way" in which the questions were constructed: "What the heck does `How much money is in that website' mean?" I contend, most people listening to that dialogue would know exactly that meant. But, I defer to you that the clumsy construction of that sentence may make it  meaningless in proving a perjury charge.

    So, am I correct in assuming that your conclusion, "I don't think the State has a good perjury case against SZ here," is because the DA botched the interrogation?


    Pretty much (none / 0) (#178)
    by Peter G on Wed Jun 13, 2012 at 10:29:49 PM EST
    yes, coupled with the wording of the answers, of course.

    Ah, gotcha, thanks n/t (none / 0) (#183)
    by NYShooter on Thu Jun 14, 2012 at 12:45:51 AM EST
    I think Shellie (2.00 / 0) (#192)
    by Doug1111 on Thu Jun 14, 2012 at 01:59:36 PM EST
    will beat it.  

    There has to be a factually clearly and knowingly false statement for there to be purgery in Florida.  Sure she was being evasive and probably trying to mislead, but that's not enough for purgery.

    She said she didn't know  currently how much was in the accounts.  That's not an easily disprovable statement.

    As well states about never bring purgery charges for this sort of thing, that not clear cut massive lying, and by a nobody.  

    I think that there's very little doubt that the special prosecutor (and most of the MSM) is out to get the Zimmermans, for political and riot avoidance reasons, which I find very repellant.  


    Reasonable Doubt (none / 0) (#165)
    by nomatter0nevermind on Wed Jun 13, 2012 at 08:57:19 PM EST

    The prosecution must prove, beyond reasonable doubt, that the defendant knew her answers were false. Anything that might raise reasonable doubt about how she understood the question, could be quite helpful.

    IIRC (none / 0) (#203)
    by DebFrmHell on Sat Jun 16, 2012 at 03:11:03 AM EST
    THe only thing that Judge Lester said was that he had read Shellie's responses. He either didn't remember or said that he would have to read what GZ had to say.

    If he had only read what was submitted, then the only persons misleading the court is the prosecution itself.

    IMO and IANAL.


    There are also 3 transcripts of jail calls (none / 0) (#144)
    by Jeralyn on Wed Jun 13, 2012 at 04:21:29 PM EST
    in the affidavit

    On Apri1 15, 2012 the following call took place:

    * Call# 18568099 @ 1529:

    George Zimmerman: Um, I'm trying to think, cause you're going to take out $10 and keep it with you in cash, right?
    Shellie Zimmerman: Yeah like $9
    George Zimmerman: Let's just say about $10. I'm wondering you have more than $10, right?
    Shellie Zimmerman: Not with me
    George Zimmerman: You don't have access to more than $10?
    Shellie Zimmerman: I do. I have access to, yeah
    George Zimmerman: In your account?
    Shellie Zimmerman: Yea

    On two such calls, on April 16, 2012, Shellie Zimmerman is present with George Zimmerman's sister at the credit union when they discuss the transferring of money from George Zimmerman's account.

    * Call# 18577856@ 1426:

    George Zimmerman: In my account do I have at least $1 00?
    Shellie Zimmerman: No
    George Zimmerman: How close am I?
    Shellie Zimmerman: There's like $8. $8.60
    George Zimmerman: So total everything how much are we looking at?
    Shellie Zimmerman: Um, like $155

    * Call # 18579780 @ 1632:
    George Zimmerman: If the bond is $50, pay the 15. If it's more than 15, just pay 10% to the bondsman.
    Shellie Zimmerman: You don't want me to pay $1 00?
    George Zimmerman: Hell no.
    Shellie Zimmerman: All right just think about it.

    And these are no better (none / 0) (#162)
    by Peter G on Wed Jun 13, 2012 at 08:30:12 PM EST
    In the first question, does "[I]s that correct?" refer to whether the DA has correctly summarized the prior testimony, or to whether the prior testimony was truthful?  What the heck does "How much money is in that website" mean?  A "website" is not a place you can keep money.  And "Do you have any estimate" is not the same question as "Could you estimate for me, please ..."  If she hadn't previously made an estimate, then she didn't "have" an estimate at the time the question was asked.

    good points, and (none / 0) (#163)
    by Jeralyn on Wed Jun 13, 2012 at 08:37:49 PM EST
    who is included in "you all"?

    Probably more than you wanted to know (5.00 / 1) (#170)
    by Rojas on Wed Jun 13, 2012 at 09:32:57 PM EST
    "You all" is Floridian (none / 0) (#166)
    by Peter G on Wed Jun 13, 2012 at 09:03:11 PM EST
    for "youse," as we say in Philadelphia!

    In Texas it's "y'all.". :) (none / 0) (#169)
    by Angel on Wed Jun 13, 2012 at 09:32:35 PM EST
    Spoken like a dedicated (none / 0) (#55)
    by gyrfalcon on Tue Jun 12, 2012 at 11:03:38 PM EST
    and dogged defense attorney.  (That's a compliment.)

    Five fair and pertinent questions (5.00 / 2) (#57)
    by citizenjeff on Tue Jun 12, 2012 at 11:11:01 PM EST
    1. What information was George Zimmerman required to disclose that he didn't disclose?
    2. When and in what manner was he required to disclose whatever he was required to disclose but didn't?
    3. Which part of which statute contains the pertinent requirement?
    4. What is the legal justification for Zimmerman's incarceration?
    5. If there is no legal justification for incarcerating Zimmerman, why is there no uproar about it?

    Dude (none / 0) (#59)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Tue Jun 12, 2012 at 11:19:34 PM EST
    Hes been charged with murder.  In most dimensions that is a reason to be incarcerated with a right for a bond hearing.  They deceived the judge in the bond hearing and now he is in jail.

    This isn't some new way of dealing with those charged with crimes.  This is how it works.


    Florida statutes 903.035 (none / 0) (#63)
    by expy on Tue Jun 12, 2012 at 11:38:47 PM EST

    1)(a) All information provided by a defendant, in connection with any application for or attempt to secure bail, to any court, court personnel, or individual soliciting or recording such information for the purpose of evaluating eligibility for, or securing, bail for the defendant, under circumstances such that the defendant knew or should have known that the information was to be used in connection with an application for bail, shall be accurate, truthful, and complete without omissions to the best knowledge of the defendant.

    (b) The failure to comply with the provisions of paragraph (a) may result in the revocation or modification of bail.

    Nice try, expy... (5.00 / 1) (#68)
    by citizenjeff on Wed Jun 13, 2012 at 12:15:19 AM EST
    ...but as Jeralyn previously pointed out, the statute you cited applies to only "information provided by a defendant." Zimmerman hasn't been accused of providing false information. The judge said he jailed the Zimster for failing to disclose information. Which part of which statute requires such disclosure?

    And..... (5.00 / 1) (#202)
    by heidelja on Sat Jun 16, 2012 at 01:00:34 AM EST

    Keep in mind GZ did not know until days after Apr 20 how much had been donated to his website. It was reported to the Court on Apr 27 how much was.

    What "opinion" (estimate RIGHT NOW... not empirical fact) should have been uttered by SZ on the phone on Apr 20: "$74,000", "$135,000", "maybe about $200,000 in a few days" or "I do not know [RIGHT NOW]"?


    Here is some pure speculation about the State's (5.00 / 1) (#80)
    by Mitch Guthman on Wed Jun 13, 2012 at 01:54:57 AM EST
    motives in prosecuting Zimmerman's wife

    I have been giving this a bit of thought in light of the bond revocation and this arrest of Zimmerman's wife today.   It has always been my belief that the State's aggressive charging was based on knowledge that there was physical evidence which contradicted Zimmerman's claim of self-defense (regardless of the application of the "stand your ground law").

    It seems to me that there are many fertile areas of inquiry concerning the physical evidence.  For example, I have always been interested in knowing more about Martin's wounds (what was in the them and what they might tell us about the distance between Zimmerman and Martin when the fatal shot was fired; how much of Martin's blood was on Zimmerman's clothing and was it where it should be; was the angle of entry of the bullet consistent with Zimmerman's story. Again, if the State had such evidence, it would certainly explain the charging decision and their aggressive stance in this case.

    Nevertheless, I have not continued to discuss this here because I felt it was a pointless waste of good electrons to simply speculate about what evidence the State might or might not have.  If such evidence exists Zimmerman's goose would probably be cooked.  But does it exist?  Really, there's no way to know so why not wait and see what develops at trial?

    As I say, since none of us have access to the case file, it's impossible to know for certain what evidence the State has available but I'm increasingly coming round to the point of view that they don't have any useful evidence at all. What tipped the scales for me was the arrest of the defendant's wife.  I was a prosecutor for some years and something like this bond revocation and arrest of the defendant's wife on what is really a pretty minor charge is not something that most prosecutors would do unless there was something that had gone wrong with their case and they were really trying to turn up the heat to force a plea.   Prosecutors don't generally go after family members for this kind of thing because they feel it risks making them look petty and vindictive. (Which is bad for jury appeal) Also, my guess is that contrary to what most commentators are saying on this blog, there's a real risk of this backfiring and making Zimmerman look more like a sympathetic victim in all this to the people who are prospective jurors and the local prosecutors must know this.  

    Apart from all that, I think nearly everybody on both sides here seems to agree that, if the defense is forced to put on a case, Zimmerman must testify.  I admit that what I'm about to say is very idiosyncratic and it's just my own feelings about good cross-examination so just take it for what it's worth:

    Crossing a defendant who doesn't have priors is very difficult.  Unless the DA has unearthed lots of other useful material and/or dirt for cross (which seems unlikely), I would assume that he or she would want to have a real zinger to use to create some buzz and shake Zimmerman up and get him off his game.   In my book, the business with the "hold out" passport and the money is a real zinger. (Why would a man of an innocent disposition feel the need to hold back his passport and have money at the ready?  He lied about having a second passport.  He lied about the money, which he could use if he felt the need to flee---perhaps if he felt this trial was going against him, etc ).   All good stuff. Sure, this defense lawyer is going to jump up and scream and shout and quite possibly keep it out but, really, who cares?  I know everybody is different but to me that stuff is pure gold if it catches him off guard and lets me pound him on the substantive stuff while he is shaky.  

    Same with the wife if she's called to testify about character (which is possible since the guy has no prior convictions and probably no past bad acts that are admissible).  

    So, if most prosecutors would prepare for crossing Zimmerman the way I would, you have to ask yourself: Why throw away something like that just for some no-account pre-trial maneuvering?   Maybe because they can't go to trial and they need a plea desperately?

    If I'm right that the bond motion and the wife's arrest is saying that they've got nothing, what are they going to do if Zimmerman won't crease?

    Re: money and passport (5.00 / 1) (#118)
    by unitron on Wed Jun 13, 2012 at 12:12:28 PM EST
    All the money and passport stuff came after the night of the shooting and could just as easily be the signs of an innocent man who thinks he's going to be unjustly convicted as the signs of a guilty one.

    Since he's going to be on trial (if they don't get him to plea bargain) for the events of the night of February 26th, just how much stuff that transpired later can they drag into that trial?

    And I do suspect that what they've wanted all along was a plea bargain that keeps this from going to any kind of jury.


    i am not a lawyer (none / 0) (#85)
    by fredquick21 on Wed Jun 13, 2012 at 02:20:31 AM EST
     and am "SHOCKED" that some who are or claim to be lawyer on t.v. or on threads such as this seem to think Lying or the presumption of lying under oath is no big deal and people who "May" have done so "SHOULDN'T BE CHARGED". I don't aways agree with everything on this site but everytime i come here "I LEARN SOMETHING" which is why i come back.

    Well I am a lawyer (5.00 / 4) (#88)
    by expy on Wed Jun 13, 2012 at 02:36:22 AM EST
    & I think the reason that Shellie Zimmerman was charged is that she lied under oath on a material matter, and that the prosecution has documentation that proves she was lying.

    In other words, that they are charging her because it's an easy case to prove, and they don't like to see people getting away with lying in court.


    I don't think it an easy case to prove. (5.00 / 1) (#93)
    by Mitch Guthman on Wed Jun 13, 2012 at 02:49:05 AM EST
    Perjury and related crimes are extremely difficult to prove. It's all too subjective and unless you can get a plea or the family member is Jack the Ripper, lying on a family member's bail application to get them out of jail doesn't usually have a lot of jury appeal.  That's one of the main reasons that prosecutors tend to let it slide.

    I would be very interested to know whether this office has ever brought such a prosecution before.  I would suspect that this is a pretty rare event in that office; which is why I'm questioning the motive for doing so.


    I don't think it is (5.00 / 5) (#103)
    by expy on Wed Jun 13, 2012 at 05:17:12 AM EST
    typical or usual for family members to start moving around the type of money involved in this case in the days immediately before a bail hearing, and then plead poverty or ignorance.  

    Given the rarity of this level of deceit, I don't think it would make much sense to be worrying about how often similar prosecutions take place.

    I think this is probably rare simply because few people are in the position of sitting on $135K of internet donations. So it isn't that the typical criminal defendant is all that honest -- it's just that the typical defendant and family just doesn't have that kin of money available; or if it is more wealthy individual charged with a crime, there defendant isn't thinking that he is going to be able to conceal assets.  

    There are cases where defendants come up with bail money from illicit resources (such as by selling drugs) and obviously they don't volunteer that sort of info.... but I never saw one who was stupid enough to allow his wife to be put on the witness stand to testify how broke they are.


    It is possibly an easy case (5.00 / 1) (#201)
    by heidelja on Sat Jun 16, 2012 at 12:42:26 AM EST
    for a persuasive prosecutor to make a jury think she lied, but "lying" is not perjury. Nor is knowing something and not telling it when under oath when you have never been asked the right questions to tell it!

    It seems to me that a clever defense lawyer only has to impress on a jury what the defendant should have been asked under oath, but was not, to elicit the answers the State seems to have wanted to disprove any allegation of perjury. But wait, so far for this case the State has not even explicited stated how she lied, only painted the illusion she lied and hence perjured herself.

    I shared above per Vargas v State 3D99-2407:

    1 - At the outset that "materiality" is not an element of the crime of perjury in Florida but is a threshold issue that a court must determine as a matter of law prior to trial.

    2 - To be material, statements must be germane to the inquiry, and have a bearing on a determination in the underlying case.  

    3 - The statement alleged to be perjury must be one of fact, and not of opinion or belief. ....grounded in ones perceptions at the time but ones of empirical fact.

    4 - In addition, the questions posed to elicit the allegedly perjured testimony were not asked with the appropriate specificity necessary to result in an equally specific statement of fact.

    Point 4 is certainly the killer here for the State's case against S Zimmerman.


    no one is saying that (none / 0) (#146)
    by Jeralyn on Wed Jun 13, 2012 at 04:27:35 PM EST
    what they are saying is not every inaccurate statement is an intentional lie or done with the intent to to deceive. Sometimes people are mistaken.

    To that TL's explanation, I would add (5.00 / 1) (#188)
    by Peter G on Thu Jun 14, 2012 at 09:14:46 AM EST
    that lying in court is sadly common, on both sides of all sorts of cases, where witnesses have an interest that favors one side or the other.  Prosecutors necessarily allow most of it to slide (or have an interest in letting it slide, as with the rampant police perjury seen in pretrial hearings of various kinds, in criminal cases).  To see a defendant's family member prosecuted, even for intentionally lying, is rare.  Only in the clearest and most serious cases do you ordinarily see perjury charges brought.

    some of you don't read or (5.00 / 2) (#81)
    by fredquick21 on Wed Jun 13, 2012 at 02:01:59 AM EST
     only read what applies to your theory. Yes there is a reason SZ was arrested it's not just "WE don't have a good case so lets go after the family ." GZ was charged for a reason he's not being "Railroaded" or being charged because of a "LYNCH MOB". I don't know if either are innocence or guilty so i read "EVERYTHING" even the legal stuff/words i don't understand because i can search the net to try to better understand some of the material on this site. I am not a lawyer but words/phrases like "Railroaded" and "LYNCH MOB" are probably not terms you use to defend someone. Judge Lester wrote the evidence against GZ was "STRONG" now i like most am waiting to see what this is and how strong it actually is.

    I don't think the judge knows (none / 0) (#89)
    by expy on Wed Jun 13, 2012 at 02:41:00 AM EST
    how "strong" the evidence is, as he hasn't heard it all.

    I read his order as a very strong signal to both the defense and the prosecution that he will be willing to entertain a prosecution argument along those lines at the upcoming bail hearing.

    IF he feels that the defense (either the defendant or the defense lawyer) are playing games or jacking him around at the next hearing, then the judge may very well make a finding about the strength of the evidence to support a ruling denying bail altogether. Whether or not the judge is accurate in his assessment, that ruling would be hard to overturn on appeal.


    What has the judge seen... (none / 0) (#94)
    by Gandydancer on Wed Jun 13, 2012 at 02:55:54 AM EST
    ...that we haven't? Just as a question of process, has he had occasion to examine the "confessional" material Corey gave O'Mara but held back from public release?

    IIRC GZ was pretty much guaranteed bail unless there was evident proof of his guilt well beyond a reasonable doubt *FL Crim Proc 3.131, "proof of guilt is evident or the presumption is great"). And the prosecution didn't really attempt to make that case. Has that changed?


    I see the... (none / 0) (#96)
    by Gandydancer on Wed Jun 13, 2012 at 03:25:52 AM EST
    ...next thread is on exactly this subject.

    I believe you'd interpret the statute... (5.00 / 2) (#86)
    by citizenjeff on Wed Jun 13, 2012 at 02:23:51 AM EST
    ...as the judge did. But what makes you and the judge right?

    For your argument to be valid, you'd need to clear several hurdles you haven't so far cleared:

    You're implicitly claiming Zimmerman was obligated to listen to his wife's testimony, and to realize she testified falsely (if she did). Which part of the statute or rule you cited imposes such an obligation?

    Also, you neglected to reveal when and in what manner Zimmerman was required to disclose whatever you think he was required to disclose. Which part of the statute or rule you cited addresses that question?

    I deleleted (5.00 / 1) (#120)
    by Jeralyn on Wed Jun 13, 2012 at 12:41:21 PM EST
    expy's interpretation of the statute because while the subject line said "my interpretation" the comment was written as fact and he has not provided support for his theory, for example, he believes defendant means "defendant or anyone on his behalf." That's not what the statute says, and I don't time time to look it up now, but it seems wrong to me and without authority, I don't want it linked back to this site.

    If you have an opinion on the meaning of a statute or case, state it as your opinion.

    TalkLeft does not give legal advice and I don't want to readers believing what they read in comments is accurate just because a lawyer wrote it.

    Again, he might be right on that point, it's apparently the view the judge took, but it's not the view I would take. The statute plainly says "defendant" and refers to providing false or incomplete information "to any court, court personnel, or individual soliciting or recording such information for the purpose of evaluating eligibility for or securing bail.."  His lawyer and his wife are not in that group. And since he didn't testify about finances at all, he didn't provide any information to the court or other persons listed, let alone false information or incomplete information.


    I'd appreciate you (5.00 / 2) (#97)
    by Jeralyn on Wed Jun 13, 2012 at 03:31:50 AM EST
    not using lynch mob because it is word that pushes peoples buttons here unnecessarily. You can say he is the victim of an group of people who have organized to destory him, just leave the racial phrases like "lynch mob" out. It's seen as a racially charged word and hyperbole, like calling every person who advocates for lesser rights a "Nazi." You can make your post, and the entire thread more pleasant to read by just taking a few minutes to town down the emotion and write something that thoughtfully gets your point across without resorting to sterotypes, and racial ones in particular. Thank.s

    "organized to destroy him". That's an (5.00 / 2) (#109)
    by oculus on Wed Jun 13, 2012 at 10:16:10 AM EST
    a provocative phrase.  

    State has playing dirty from the start... (5.00 / 1) (#104)
    by Redbrow on Wed Jun 13, 2012 at 05:53:55 AM EST
    Why is O'Mara still expecting even basic professional courtesy?

    WFTV caught up with O'Mara overnight. He is angry because he asked prosecutors to tell him about the arrest first, but he did not hear until after Shellie posted a $1,000 bond.

    "You know, I am just disappointed at the state that they did not feel the need to at least offer me that professional courtesy," said O'Mara.

    I hope the judge is taking notice of the prosecutions unprofessional and hostile demeanor.

    Comity Interrupted (5.00 / 2) (#106)
    by Cylinder on Wed Jun 13, 2012 at 08:06:49 AM EST
    Yea, it seems to my lay opinion that MOM's comity shtick needs to come to an abrupt halt. The state needed this to foment some public opinion in the face of the upcoming document dump. Last round did not go so well for them.

    O"Mara isn't (none / 0) (#155)
    by Jeralyn on Wed Jun 13, 2012 at 07:05:16 PM EST
    representing Shellie, he says on his website it would be a conflict, and I don't think he is implying he ever intended to. He wanted to know as a courtesy so he could inform his client and his client wouldn't learn about it hearing the news at the jail from other inmates or guards (since apparently he doesn't have a tv in administrative housing.)

    It really (5.00 / 1) (#193)
    by scooterdoo on Thu Jun 14, 2012 at 02:23:46 PM EST
    bothers me that the affidavit was redacted to omit "Q: Who would know that? A: That would be my brother-in-law." Also, is the money in a PayPal account guaranteed? Can somebody donate a large sum and then cancel or refuse to pay? If so, at what point do you actually know how much you have available?

    I can't decipher the transcription of the phone conversation. It doesn't tell me what was actually said. I would think a literal transcription would be important with a perjury charge. For example, call #18577856 @ 1426: Did George say, "In my account do I have at least one hundred dollars?" I doubt he said, "dollar sign, one hundred" Perhaps he said, "...do I have at least one hundred (thousand)?"

    I doubt Shellie actually said, "There's like dollar sign, eight." Did she say "eight dollars" or "There's like eight (thousand)." Did Shellie actually say, "eight dollars and sixty cents" as the transcript asserts? And later, did Shellie say, "...one hundred and fifty-five dollars." or did she say, "Um, like one hundred and fifty-five (thousand)."? If so, how is that considered code with the intent to deceive the court? Seems prudent to not explicitly state THOUSAND while in jail where you have no idea who is listening.

    Yeah, the "transcript" is really awful. (none / 0) (#195)
    by Gandydancer on Fri Jun 15, 2012 at 02:46:45 AM EST
    "eight dollars and sixty cents" Really???

    another thought... (none / 0) (#197)
    by scooterdoo on Fri Jun 15, 2012 at 12:21:24 PM EST
    Given the prosecution's proven tendency to manipulate transcripts, it's not unreasonable to suspect that "$155" is actually "one hundred and fifty-five (thousand)." I fail to see how that - or even "one, fifty-five" or "eight, sixty" - is any different than a car dealer saying "twenty-nine, five" when asked the price of a car.

    Of course, we don't know what was actually said. Maybe she did say "eight dollars and sixty cents." We just don't know because the transcript is not a literal transcription and requires one to guess what was actually said.


    Entrapment at the bond hearing (5.00 / 1) (#204)
    by Stan25 on Sat Jun 16, 2012 at 05:12:29 AM EST
    I didn't realize this new thread had started so here is my post from the old thread:

    The State used the bond hearing as an entrapment proceeding:

        The State had the tapes before the hearing and "broke" the "code" so it knew there was 135k available four days before the hearing;
        The State would have listened to every tape before the hearing;
        The State deliberately asked Shellie the ambiguous question about what she knew about the current balances "RIGHT NOW";
        The State, even though it already knew the amounts raised as of four days ago, never asked for the balances FOUR DAYS AGO;
        Shellie answered 'No" correctly when asked if she knew the current balances "right now" and said her brother in law had the information needed and was available to be asked;
        The State itself, knowing the amount available, withheld that information from Judge Lester;
        The State could have simply asked Shellie for the amounts available as of four days ago. But it didn't;
        The State wasn't interested in getting the information in order to use it in front of Judge Lester, it was only interested in entrapping Shellie with an ambiguous question about balances "right now";
        The State was just as culpable as Shellie because it never told Judge Lester the amount available;
        If the State, knowing the information on the amount raised, had provided it to Judge Lester at the hearing, a perjury charge would have been more difficult because materiality, a necessary element for perjury, possibly might not be there;
        At worst, if the State disclosed the amount at the hearing, O'Mara may have had an opportunity to repair any damage, possibly by calling the brother in law himself. So the State had further incentive to withhold the information to solidify a perjury charge;
        The State abused the Court by pulling an entrapment scam against Shellie and was even more culpable than Shellie for the "misinformed" Lester bond order;
        The later revocation of bond was a staged action caused by the State, by not informing the Court what it knew on the day of the bond hearing, thereby creating the environment for new bond;
        There is no reason for the State to not inform the Court of the amount raised because it would have increased the bond amount ... except to entrap Shellie.

    Neat conspiracy theory... (5.00 / 1) (#209)
    by heidelja on Sat Jun 16, 2012 at 02:30:17 PM EST
    ...that I am not one to bash!

    I think really you have delineated why SZ's "perjury" charge should be viewed as immaterial and thrown out at first hearing! It's like the old saying "there is no ignorance to the law" twisted to be "there is no ignorance to the facts when they are otherwise in your mitts the whole time" and did not pay attention.


    Public statement regarding (5.00 / 1) (#212)
    by Tamta on Sun Jun 17, 2012 at 02:39:15 PM EST
    location and use of defense donations.

    ON 26 APRIL 2012.

    -Mr. Zimmerman's former website and the PayPal attached to it raised approximately $200,000.00 over the period of time that it was up and running. Mr. Zimmerman was using this money, as mentioned on his website, for his ongoing living expenses and other necessary expenses based upon the charge and eventual arrest.

    -George immediately gathered the funds that were in either his or his wife's account, or the PayPal account, and has forwarded those funds to me presently.


    Per the Huffington Post .... (5.00 / 1) (#217)
    by heidelja on Tue Jun 19, 2012 at 01:09:33 AM EST
    found here

    The judge agreed and ordered Zimmerman returned to jail where he has been since turning himself in on June 3. He didn't perjure himself, but Lester said he knew his wife was lying.

    "Does your client get to sit there like a potted plant and lead the court down the primrose path? That's the issue," Lester said in revoking Zimmerman's bond. "He can't sit back and obtain the benefit of a lower bond based upon those material falsehoods."

    I find Lester's comment disturbing because 1) the Court had been told of the money and he deffered judgment and 2) at the time on Apr 20 it is largely came about by a sort of fraud on the Court perpetuated by the lawyers more so than the Zimmermans' doings. The Zimmermans were victims of timing (ie, scheduling of the hearing and the receipt of "pennies from heaven"...barely more).  Lester's comment should be seen as inappropriate because it makes him appear to be a naive country bumpkin over Burger's opinion stated in Bronston v US which went per here:  

    ...we are not dealing with casual conversation and the statute does not make it a criminal act for a witness to willfully state any material matter that implies any material matter that he does not believe to be true" since intent to mislead or evade might not be the underlying reason: "Under the pressures and tensions of interrogation, it is not uncommon for the most earnest witnesses to give answers that are not entirely responsive. Sometimes the witness does not understand the question, or may in an excess of caution or apprehension read too much or too little into it."

    Witnesses, he understood, might also be reluctant to discuss personally embarrassing matters, particularly in a bankruptcy proceeding. "If a witness evades, it is the lawyer's responsibility to recognize the evasion and to bring the witness back to the mark, to flush out the whole truth with the tools of adversary examination." The trial jury's finding that Bronston had intended to mislead was of no consequence, and indeed should not have been a determination they were allowed to make:

    A jury should not be permitted to engage in conjecture whether an unresponsive answer, true and complete on its face, was intended to mislead or divert the examiner; the state of mind of the witness is relevant only to the extent that it bears on whether "he does not believe [his answer] to be true." To hold otherwise would be to inject a new and confusing element into the adversary testimonial system we know. Witnesses would be unsure of the extent of their responsibility for the misunderstandings and inadequacies of examiners, and might well fear having that responsibility tested by a jury under the vague rubric of "intent to mislead" or "perjury by implication."

    He reviewed the history of perjury, and recalled that when it first started being prosecuted, authorities realized it had to be narrowly construed, otherwise people would be deterred from testfying over fears of being prosecuted themselves. Existing case law supported that position as well.

    "Precise questioning is imperative as a predicate for the offense of perjury", he said, one last time, a sentence frequently quoted since then.

    It has been recently stated elsewhere on TalkLeft that O'Mara views Zimmerman to have been jailed for 29 days for "his mistake"! But considering the opinion of Burger, Zimmerman has been wrongfully jailed for 29 days for reason Lester has allowed the "inadequacies of examiners" of the State to come before him at worst, or else, just to be one who does not care to allow attorneys their leeway posturing themselves as a Supreme Court Chief Justice stated it should be!


    Per the Court record.... (none / 0) (#216)
    by heidelja on Tue Jun 19, 2012 at 12:59:59 AM EST
    ...found for Apr 27
    here it went stated (in part):
    For which the Court entered:

    I'm wondering if anyone has any ideas (4.67 / 3) (#8)
    by ruffian on Tue Jun 12, 2012 at 07:26:25 PM EST
    about the perils of testifying via telephone. To me the lack of eye-lock with questioners and judge seems conducive to shortened and perhaps incomplete answers. Interested to ear of any of the lawyers have experience with literally phoned in testimony.

    Have never had "phoned in" testimony. (none / 0) (#18)
    by oculus on Tue Jun 12, 2012 at 08:28:49 PM EST
    Have participated in video conference deposition of a state inmate during his deposition.  He was not a party.  It was a civil case.  

    they had a notary (none / 0) (#26)
    by Jeralyn on Tue Jun 12, 2012 at 08:58:05 PM EST
    present with Shellie and his parents, who were all at one location but kept in separate rooms during their testimony (for sequestration. The notary swore them in. It's on the videos of the hearing testimony.

    I just wonder if one who is not used to testifying (5.00 / 2) (#31)
    by ruffian on Tue Jun 12, 2012 at 09:33:20 PM EST
     in any form might not grasp the whole impact of the situation under those circumstances. Not that that is any excuse.

    It's a good question (none / 0) (#34)
    by Rojas on Tue Jun 12, 2012 at 09:52:18 PM EST
    it's pretty easy to overstate or understate income on financial forms. Most people are guilty of that in my estimation.

    There's a judge "in Texas" who is of the opinion 10 bucks an hour does not qualify for indigent status.

    I suppose my question is can people just step back for a second and try to understand what this family is going through?

    My impression is that you are trying.


    Yes- I think that a question like (none / 0) (#105)
    by ruffian on Wed Jun 13, 2012 at 06:07:34 AM EST
    'do you have an estimate' can be interpreted multiple ways. I know I tend to take questions very literally.  if the questioner is right there with you and can see you looking confused or weighing your options, maybe he follows up with more specific questions. Or maybe you get a better sense of what he really means.

    I spend so much time on telecons at work that I know how much can get lost in those conversations.


    If I could just (5.00 / 1) (#114)
    by NYShooter on Wed Jun 13, 2012 at 11:42:34 AM EST
    jump in here for a minute....I have to leave, but I'd like to make one point for consideration. Having been a witness in several trials, on both the defense and plaintiff sides, I wonder how thoroughly O'Mara prepared the Zimmermans for their appearances on the witness stand (so to speak)

    I know what a lonely feeling it is there and how a good attorney can screw up your thinking. I know I felt that I was inadequately prepared, or "prepped" prior to my appearances. The lawyers took so much for granted as to how I was supposed to answer questions. No matter what I said on the stand, afterwards all I got was yelling by my attorneys, "I should have said this, or I should have answered like that." Anyway, all I know is that I felt like telling the lawyers, "how come you're telling me all this now? It would have been nice if you took the preparation time more seriously and given me clearer instructions as to what to expect."

    Bottom line, I don't have sympathy for Zimmerman as a person, but I do sympathize with him as a witness. When you're being questioned by a skilled attorney, they know you're an amateur, and they know how to ask questions that, no matter how you answer, it comes out bad for you.

    That's it, I'm done.  


    I agree - and I think it must be even harder (none / 0) (#135)
    by ruffian on Wed Jun 13, 2012 at 03:07:36 PM EST
    on the phone, is all I am saying.

    But now having re-read the questions (none / 0) (#147)
    by ruffian on Wed Jun 13, 2012 at 04:37:10 PM EST
    and her answers...I don't think she misunderstood them. We'll see what her defense is.

    I appreciate that (none / 0) (#151)
    by NYShooter on Wed Jun 13, 2012 at 06:48:34 PM EST
    but, I was speaking in general, not with either of the Zimmerman's specific questions, or answers in mind.

    I know there's been discussion regarding whether a defendant should, or shouldn't take the stand in his/her own defense. And, almost invariably, lawyers will tell you, emphatically, NO. And, it has nothing to do with whether the witness is smart, or telling the truth.

    Just imagine you being on the witness stand and the opposing attorney asks you, in a yes or no format, a question. He/she knows a yes/no answer wouldn't be 100% factual, not everything reduces  to a simple yes/no. But, "legally," there is an answer. So, you fidget in your seat, trying out both answers in your mind, and neither one relays the truth as you know it. You look to your lawyer, hoping he jumps up with an objection, but he's sitting there, oblivious even to your presence. You look to the judge to make this hostile lawyer rephrase his question but he looks at you sternly and admonishes you, "the witness will answer the question." And, there you are, poor little deli clerk, book-keeper, or whatever, playing a game where everybody knows the rules.....except you. And, you can bet your last dollar, no matter which way you answer, it was the wrong way.

    I can just imagine how many prisoners are sitting in their jail cells tonight thinking, Damn! If only I had said, "yes," instead of "no."      


    Oh I totally agree. (none / 0) (#158)
    by ruffian on Wed Jun 13, 2012 at 07:44:49 PM EST
    I would never testify unless I was convinced it was the only way to save my life. I would be horrible on the stand.

    just a nudge to your self esteem (none / 0) (#164)
    by NYShooter on Wed Jun 13, 2012 at 08:40:11 PM EST
    "You" would not be horrible,

    The lawyer would make you "look" horrible.



    Seems a little mean-spirited to me (4.67 / 3) (#21)
    by oldmancoyote22 on Tue Jun 12, 2012 at 08:38:52 PM EST
    I know the prosecution's filings look pretty damning.  They're supposed to.  I think by now we would have all learned to wait until the defense has had a chance to respond.  

    The prosecution and Team Crump have built up absolutely no credibility with me.  Corey's track record over her career and Crump's PR antics pretty much make me want to withhold judgment.  

    The good news is that's the way it is supposed to be.  

    Adding (none / 0) (#23)
    by oldmancoyote22 on Tue Jun 12, 2012 at 08:41:40 PM EST
    My formative intellectual years were the 90s.  Kenneth Starr's reign as Grand Inquisitor has forever tempered my assessment of politically-appointed prosecutors.  

    All I am saying (4.67 / 3) (#22)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Tue Jun 12, 2012 at 08:41:03 PM EST
    Is that the indictment does place GZ in a very bad light and for all of the concern about influencing the jury pool, this is far more damaging than the push of the Martin family for a trial and adequate bond threshold.

    Come on now.  It was one thing when it was just a bond issue.  You now have an indictment based on the Zimmerman's planning and conversations.

    That's just, as my friends call it, a very bad look. Looks bad all around. Innocent until proven guilty, clearly. But the transfers and payment of bills and all of it, plus the judge saying that he didn't respect the law, is big news.

    This is damage inflicted in the public eye that is no ones' fault but the Zimmerman's.  If you didn't want to give the prosecution this leverage, then don't do things that give them the opening.  From the experience of the prior counsel to what is happening now, the Zimmerman's seem to have acted in ways contrary to what their lawyers would want. If it looks bad, that's their own fault.

    You may not be wrong (5.00 / 3) (#24)
    by oldmancoyote22 on Tue Jun 12, 2012 at 08:48:01 PM EST
    But neither of the Zimmermans are attorneys and the state's power to monitor their conversations and will to embarrass them should give us informed observers some pause.  

    If I were prosecutor in this case, I certainly would have brought this information to the opposing counsel and likely the court.  I would not have done so in a way that, in my opinion, increases the intensity of the spectacle this trial has become.  That's just my take.  

    At the end of the day, we're talking about bail and money for bail.  The strategy here, as far as I can tell, is to win in the court of public opinion.  It raises all sorts of red flags for me.  


    I think it was simply (5.00 / 1) (#53)
    by gyrfalcon on Tue Jun 12, 2012 at 11:00:23 PM EST
    too flagrant and too widely reported to let go.

    It's not a big deal given what Z is facing.  It's unfortunate, to be sure, but if proven, it's something they did to themselves.


    Agreed (5.00 / 1) (#107)
    by ScottW714 on Wed Jun 13, 2012 at 08:21:17 AM EST
    Does it make it more or less likely he acted in self-defense when he shot Trayvon Martin? No

    While true, that hinges on believing GZ, and right now he has got some very serious credibility problems.  And Jeralyn can say what she needs to, hard recorded evidence isn't stuff us average folks can just brush off as not proof of guilt.  And yes, I watched GZ sit at a table while his wife allegedly lied to a judge.  Maybe not a crime, but certainly not the act of a man whose concerned with the truth.

    I have been trying to keep an open mind, but that GD GZ is making it extremely hard to believe him or that he is even capable of making a good decision.

    All parties of course are presumed innocent until proven guilty.


    I don't believe HE (Zimmerman) has (3.00 / 3) (#111)
    by deanno on Wed Jun 13, 2012 at 10:33:38 AM EST
    any credibility problems.  What he has is a MEDIA problem.  A media that makes a lot of hay out of this but treats the remarks made by the Martins and their attorneys on the tube as if they were gospel--never challenging them.

    Where for example is the "credibility" of Mr Crump when he constantly implies that GZ was "chasing" TM to the point of the shot or even the confrontation?

    I think Corey didn't like the fact that she was humiliated at that bond hearing by her own detective and is using this as a diversionary tactic.


    Mr Crump (5.00 / 1) (#152)
    by NYShooter on Wed Jun 13, 2012 at 06:52:05 PM EST
    wasn't on the witness stand....under oath.

    Makes no difference! (5.00 / 2) (#187)
    by deanno on Thu Jun 14, 2012 at 08:50:02 AM EST
    Crump is constantly on TV implying that Zimmerman "chased" Martin to the point of the confrontation or the point of the shot.  He even implies that Zimmerman had his gun out while chasing Martin

    what's your point? (5.00 / 0) (#194)
    by NYShooter on Thu Jun 14, 2012 at 02:58:54 PM EST
    that there's all sorts of people making all sorts of crazy comments?

    O.K I agree.


    Crump... (none / 0) (#196)
    by deanno on Fri Jun 15, 2012 at 10:11:48 AM EST
    isn't all sorts of people.  He's the chief spokesperson for the Martins.

    Not to mention, ... (5.00 / 0) (#205)
    by Yman on Sat Jun 16, 2012 at 06:47:28 AM EST
    ... he's not actually making these "crazy statements" you're attributing to him.  He's merely (in your opinion) implying them.

    If derogatory comments are correct (none / 0) (#198)
    by heidelja on Fri Jun 15, 2012 at 10:53:18 PM EST
    for GZ to be "on drugs" (Addarall) it means he has ADD. The way some describe him as a liar is because of his disorganized thinking...a characteristic of one who has ADD. A side affect of Addarall is being hungry hence the snack foods in jail. His weight loss in recent pix compared to a few years ago would reflect the use of Addarall over this period. To understand GZ one has to understand a person with ADD.

    Did anybody else notice? (4.50 / 2) (#9)
    by Redbrow on Tue Jun 12, 2012 at 07:28:58 PM EST
    That Corey put considerably more effort AND evidence into Shellie's affidavit for perjury than George's for murder 2?

    That's the advantage ... (5.00 / 6) (#11)
    by Yman on Tue Jun 12, 2012 at 07:50:17 PM EST
    ... to having audio recordings, bank records, a court transcript and a judge present.

    As far as "considerably more effort", I'd say this affidavit practically wrote itself.


    I noticed that (5.00 / 1) (#27)
    by Jeralyn on Tue Jun 12, 2012 at 08:59:08 PM EST
    and I think it was intentional. They had more than they had in their bond motion and at the hearing to revoke bond.

    When you have a weak case (3.50 / 2) (#5)
    by Redbrow on Tue Jun 12, 2012 at 07:12:23 PM EST
    against the defendant, go after their family.

    Seems like the press, particularly ABC and Weiner, had instant access to the mug shots.

    Weiner also tweeted the exact same sound bite that Crump uttered on CNN. This was an orchestrated media attack in the court of public opinion and reeks of desperation.

    "at the crux of every legal case." 3rd of 3 tweets. Quote from #TrayvonMartin family attorney. #GeorgeZimmerman

    52s Jeff Weiner Jeff Weiner ‏@JeffWeinerOS

    "to tell the truth in court because it is the whole bases of the American legal system. Credibility of every witness is always..." (Cont)

    2m Jeff Weiner Jeff Weiner ‏@JeffWeinerOS

    #TrayvonMartin family atty Crump on arrest of #GeorgeZimmerman's wife: "The prosecutor sent a strong message that you have..." (cont)

    timeline (5.00 / 4) (#20)
    by Redbrow on Tue Jun 12, 2012 at 08:36:53 PM EST
    2:46 Shellie Zimmerman picked up by police
    3:10 Weiner tweets breaking new of her arrest
    3:12 Weiner tweets mugshot
    4:20 Weiner tweets Crump's prepared sound bite.

    So we have the prosecutor working intimately with Crump and the press.

    It was also excellent timing to cross promote today's SYG hearing.


    "...go after their family" (4.33 / 6) (#37)
    by sj on Tue Jun 12, 2012 at 10:19:20 PM EST
    Wow.  Those prosecutors are really good.  I wonder how they did that?  Make her testify the way she did while in the process of moving money... lots of money...

    I'll have to ponder that. Or not.


    Florida is an extreme "sunshine law" (none / 0) (#50)
    by gyrfalcon on Tue Jun 12, 2012 at 10:54:04 PM EST
    This stuff is released to media/public right away unless there's some compelling reason to withhold it.

    I'll wait. (none / 0) (#1)
    by Luke Lea on Tue Jun 12, 2012 at 06:47:38 PM EST

    Capias link does not work (none / 0) (#2)
    by Payaso on Tue Jun 12, 2012 at 06:53:57 PM EST

    link fixed (none / 0) (#25)
    by Jeralyn on Tue Jun 12, 2012 at 08:54:36 PM EST
    perjury trap (none / 0) (#3)
    by diogenes on Tue Jun 12, 2012 at 06:54:37 PM EST
    If Shellie can postpone her trial until after George's and all the evidence leads to acquittal, then an angry local jury will acquit, whether on the merits or by nullification.  I am of course not commenting on the facts of whether Shellie is guilty.
    Of course, it is a fact that if everyone who lied on this level were actually charged with perjury, the courts would be filled with them.  It seems that the only people who get perjury charges are those who the prosecutor/government has something against but who don't have a real crime (Bill Clinton, Scooter Libby, Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, etc, etc) to be charged with.  

    Everybody does it? (5.00 / 1) (#7)
    by Yman on Tue Jun 12, 2012 at 07:18:26 PM EST
    "An angry local jury will acquit, whether on the merits or by nullification"?  These charges are politically motivated?

    Not sure who she's going to hire as counsel, but she'll surely get better advice than that ...

    BTW - Perjury is, in-and-of-itself, a "real crime".


    Don't forget Mark Furman (none / 0) (#4)
    by Payaso on Tue Jun 12, 2012 at 07:00:36 PM EST
    Courts are about a search for the truth.  People have a right against self-incrimination but they don't have a right to lie.

    Maybe she lied and maybe she didn't, but she swore an oath to tell the truth.  That oath should mean something.


    Courts are not about a search for (5.00 / 2) (#36)
    by Jeralyn on Tue Jun 12, 2012 at 10:05:43 PM EST
    the truth. A criminal trial is nothing more than a testing of the evidence, can the state prove its case beyond a reasonable doubt. Everybody hopes the truth prevails, but that's not what a trial is about.

    Even if her statements were intentional misrepresentations, and we haven't yet heard her side as to what she thought she was being asked when she gave the answers she gave, they don't go to truth of what happened on the night of the shooting.


    that seems rather coldly cynical (none / 0) (#41)
    by Tov on Tue Jun 12, 2012 at 10:38:50 PM EST
    to say that trials are not about the truth but may be only a by-product...I thought trials and the American legal system was/is about justice- not a game of who has better lawyers at testing evidence or access to evidence.

    She's right, though (none / 0) (#46)
    by gyrfalcon on Tue Jun 12, 2012 at 10:52:03 PM EST
    Napoleonic European courts are more about a search for the truth and judges are often investigators. (See Princess Diana death, for example.)

    In the U.S., we went another way, to rely on an adversarial system to test the evidence, as Jeralyn says.


    apparently not always adversarial (none / 0) (#179)
    by Tov on Wed Jun 13, 2012 at 11:05:38 PM EST
    it seems that some judges are finding their own evidence to cite without it being in the law or made available to be disputed by the defense or the state...welcome to the 21st century.

    correct link (none / 0) (#180)
    by Tov on Wed Jun 13, 2012 at 11:09:22 PM EST
    on second thought (none / 0) (#48)
    by Tov on Tue Jun 12, 2012 at 10:52:31 PM EST
    perhaps cynical is the wrong word ...maybe realistic is better...though I find the analysis unsettling. The judge's order to revoke bond is very interesting reading.

    Judge's Language-Order to Revoke Bond (none / 0) (#64)
    by Tamta on Tue Jun 12, 2012 at 11:41:58 PM EST
    Is it customary for a Judge to use such opinionated language?
    Last paragraph.
    It does not sound like unbiased language to me.

    it also doesn't match (none / 0) (#74)
    by Jeralyn on Wed Jun 13, 2012 at 01:09:05 AM EST
    what he ruled orally at the April hearing. New post on that here.

    Mark Fuhrman (none / 0) (#159)
    by nomatter0nevermind on Wed Jun 13, 2012 at 08:18:10 PM EST
    Mark Fuhrman is an excellent example of someone who would not have been prosecuted if the case were not high-profile.

    It certainly looks: (none / 0) (#6)
    by DebFrmHell on Tue Jun 12, 2012 at 07:16:51 PM EST
    like they were avoiding having to report money by manipulating funds under 10,000.00.  

    They have her but not GZ only because he was not at liberty to go to the credit union himself. IMO.  So are they going to charge him, too?

    I was willing to give the benefit of doubt but this has made me seriously rethink my position as far as crediting GZ's mistrust, naivety or ignorance concerning that Pay Pal account.  I base this purely on the amount of the funds being transferred about.

    Everyone and their pet knows about the $9999.00 and the reporting forms that need to be filled out at 10k+.

    Crow Pie is not a favorite snack food.

    Deposit Reporting Requirements (5.00 / 2) (#56)
    by Beasts of England on Tue Jun 12, 2012 at 11:03:50 PM EST
    Relate to single-day sums for cash and cash equivalents, e.g., money orders, to the best of my knowledge.  Deposits and transfers of checks and similar financial instruments have paper or electronic trails, therefore reporting is not necessarily required.  In my opinion, the deposits and/or transfers in question reveal naiveté and mistrust emanating from the Zimmermans, and not malevolence.

    I think the prosecution is exhibiting its frustration, and it's not pretty.   And bordering on unethical.


    just a coincidence (none / 0) (#13)
    by jharp on Tue Jun 12, 2012 at 08:05:24 PM EST
    "The state says the calls show they transferred and withdrew money from a safety deposit box, and that many of Shellie's deposits and withdrawals were in amounts of $9,000.00, $9,990.00 or $9,999.00, which some might argue shows an intent to evade federal currency reporting requirements."

    I thought they confirmed the transfers and withdrawals with the Zimmerman's credit union.

    And count me in in the "some might argue shows an intent to evade federal currency reporting requirements" group.

    I suppose it was all just a coincidence, right Zimmerman defenders?

    So what? (5.00 / 1) (#38)
    by MyLeftMind on Tue Jun 12, 2012 at 10:25:41 PM EST
    ... which some might argue shows an intent to evade federal currency reporting requirements."

    It's not illegal to "evade" government reporting requirements by not transferring chunks of $10k or more. What business is it of the federal government anyway? Those requirements were meant to stop terrorism and drug money, but for the rest of us they're just an intrusion into our personal business.

    I doubt the amounts transferred are a coincidence. But have you considered that some people don't believe the federal govt should be tracking their private financial transactions?

    I'm guessing the Zimmermans have considered what life might be like after this trial. They might never be able to work again. If George Zimmerman is acquitted, he's surely going to be a target for murderous race avengers. They're going to need all the money they can get.


    Actually, ... (5.00 / 2) (#44)
    by Yman on Tue Jun 12, 2012 at 10:45:54 PM EST
    It's not illegal to "evade" government reporting requirements by not transferring chunks of $10k or more. What business is it of the federal government anyway? Those requirements were meant to stop terrorism and drug money, but for the rest of us they're just an intrusion into our personal business.

    ... dividing large financial transactions into smaller transactions to avoid reporting requirements under the BSA can be illegal.  It's called "structuring" or "smurfing".  The fact that "some people" don't believe the federal government should be tracking their financial transactions doesn't change that.


    Structuring transactions to evade (5.00 / 1) (#117)
    by Peter G on Wed Jun 13, 2012 at 12:07:48 PM EST
    the bank's reporting requirement is a federal crime, carrying a penalty of up to five years' imprisonment and $250,000 fine, plus forfeiture of the funds involved.  (And it goes up to a 10-year max if there is a pattern of transactions involving more than $100,000.)  By the way, a $10,000 transaction is not reportable.  It is transactions of more than $10,000 that are reportable, and even then only if it is a transaction in "cash," that is, coin, currency, and certain cash-like monetary instruments.  Bank to bank transfers would typically not be reportable, regardless of amount. However, banks are encouraged to report, and do report, "suspicious" transactions also -- that is, cash transactions of $10,000 or less that appear to be designed to evade the reporting requirements.  So if I understand the facts here -- that no cash transactions were involved -- then the structuring thing is a red herring. Or was there somehow a pile of cash in a safe deposit box, or something?

    SARs as a practical matter (5.00 / 1) (#123)
    by ks on Wed Jun 13, 2012 at 01:14:48 PM EST
    To your last point, there was cash in, and removed from, a safe deposit box.  Check Jeralyn's link.  

    Now about SARs, I've been in the industry over 20 years.  In my early days, I worked as a Compliance analyst in a brokerage firm and one of our group's many functions was to review exception reports and complete Suspicious Activity Reports aka SARs where applicable.  

    Note, we did not accept cash deposits.  Meaning that any client who wanted to deposit cash into their brokerage account at any branch in the US was informed that they would have to either, turn the cash into a check, money order etc., or wire the funds into their account.  Of course we also looked at outflows (especially headed outside the US), transfers, etc.  The transactions under discussion here, would absolutely have been captured by our compliance exception reports and resulted in a SARs filing.  The NASD (now FINRA) would have killed us if they caught us doing otherwise when they came in for their examinations and reviewed our exceptions reports and SARs filings.  It would have been a layup for them.

    The banks did the same sort of reviews and tended to be even more cautious than us because one, they accepted cash two, their volume was much larger and three, back then the OCC/Fed/FDIC/OFAC/etc didn't play.  They would shut down a branch in a heartbeat.

    Futher note, this was all before 9/11, PATRIOT ACT, etc.  In this envronment regarding the transactions under discussions, imo, the Credit Union would be crazy not to file a SAR and their Compliance Officer would be incompetent to rely on a "just cash" interpretation of the OCC/Fed's transaction reporting rules.  


    NOT a real crime (none / 0) (#172)
    by diogenes on Wed Jun 13, 2012 at 09:42:01 PM EST
    If Shellie were REALLY guilty of a federal money laundering crime, then why would they be only charging her with perjury?

    No one said she was "guilty" ... (3.00 / 2) (#174)
    by Yman on Wed Jun 13, 2012 at 10:00:11 PM EST
    ... but your question may answer itself:

    If Shellie were REALLY guilty of a federal money laundering crime, then why would they be only charging her with perjury?

    The state-level district attorney (none / 0) (#177)
    by Peter G on Wed Jun 13, 2012 at 10:27:50 PM EST
    is not authorized to bring federal charges.  And whether the facts, as revealed in the affidavit in support of the capias, make out a federal offense anyway is very questionable, as I tried to explain in my post on the elements of the federal crime.

    money laundering? (2.00 / 0) (#184)
    by unitron on Thu Jun 14, 2012 at 04:03:24 AM EST
    Wouldn't the money have had to have been obtained illegally for there to be a money laundering charge involved?

    Maybe they were selling drugs to Trayvon and his friends and trying to make it look like the profits came from the PayPal donations. : - )


    Yep (none / 0) (#71)
    by ks on Wed Jun 13, 2012 at 12:30:17 AM EST
    Doing that is pretty much a classic example of modern structuring/smurfing. The old school way was to simply make cash deposits of "$9999.00" at separate branches and/or banks but that's mostly gone the way of the dinosaur.  Also, it indicates forethought and planning which is not good for, in this case, SZ.

    Haha! (none / 0) (#43)
    by William JD on Tue Jun 12, 2012 at 10:43:17 PM EST
    It's not illegal to "evade" government reporting requirements by not transferring chunks of $10k or more. What business is it of the federal government anyway?

    The best part of those intrusive requirements is that they're part of the Orwellianly named "Bank Secrecy Act". Some secrecy!


    Intent to evade federal reporting requirements? (none / 0) (#39)
    by Darby on Tue Jun 12, 2012 at 10:37:07 PM EST
    Sounds like a witch hunt. Even Corey hasn't made that leap. I am not 100% sure, but don't think there is anything illegal in moving money in those increments. And it has nothing to do with the the charge against her.

    "Not 100%" (none / 0) (#49)
    by Yman on Tue Jun 12, 2012 at 10:53:01 PM EST
    Corey doesn't enforce federal laws dealing with structuring - 31 USC § 5324.

    Here: (none / 0) (#19)
    by oculus on Tue Jun 12, 2012 at 08:30:53 PM EST
    Her mug shot may lead to violent attacks on her. (none / 0) (#33)
    by redwolf on Tue Jun 12, 2012 at 09:46:13 PM EST
    She's going to have to live in hiding now.  Puts even more pressure on Zimmerman to cop a plea.

    security (none / 0) (#67)
    by friendofinnocence on Tue Jun 12, 2012 at 11:51:21 PM EST
    Wasn't she testifying over the phone for security reasons?  Why would that change when it was known in advance she would be processed and released?  Why release her mug shot?

    florida law provides (none / 0) (#75)
    by Jeralyn on Wed Jun 13, 2012 at 01:15:32 AM EST
    mug shots can be published. Have you seen the website Florida Mugshots?

    Plea (none / 0) (#69)
    by Tamta on Wed Jun 13, 2012 at 12:19:09 AM EST
    I can not see defense counsel recommending that.

    Make an effort (none / 0) (#51)
    by gyrfalcon on Tue Jun 12, 2012 at 10:57:45 PM EST
    It's really not that hard, and our host here has asked us to do it to make life easier for her.

    Simplified (none / 0) (#62)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Tue Jun 12, 2012 at 11:31:14 PM EST
    On April 15 and 16 she's on the phone talking in code about the accounts with hundreds of thousands of dollars.

    On April 19 and she is transferring cash to various accounts to pay bills and do other stuff.

    On April 20 she states under oath that she has no money.

    These are all allegations but dang. It takes a lot to start concocting theories about why this shouldn't be taken seriously.

    Think about the people in jail right now that can't make bail because the judge didn't believe the defendants story about his or her finances.  This makes it harder for defendants who are honest about what they have.

    Comment in response (5.00 / 1) (#76)
    by Jeralyn on Wed Jun 13, 2012 at 01:38:23 AM EST
    to this deleted for using profanity. Sorry.

    ABG, you're spouting off using half the facts. Please reread my prior post or all the documents and then opine.

    While there are additional disclosures in the affidavit which don't look good, it doesn't change what she was asked, and she may or may not have been deceitful in her responses. If she thought she was just helping George move his money, and it was going to his legal expenses, she wouldn't have thought of it as her's -- or even both of theirs, since it was going to go to lawyers and creditors. It wasn't available for them to spend on themselves. She may not have known the amount in the account on the paypal account on the 20th.  Not being aware of when he launched the website, and only being gtanted access on the 12th, she might have been right to refuse to estimate how much had been raised to date. She said her brother in law would know that.

    The transcript of her testimony is the best yeardstick.

    I'm not aware of any great number of people in jail because the judge didn't set bond based on not believing them about their finances. That portion of your comment makes no sense to me. Bail is determined or denied by a host of factors, and the reason most defendants don't make bail is it is set too high or they are detained as flight risks or dangers to the community or are otherwise ineligible. Being too poor to make bond in the amount set by the judge is common, but I doubt bond is often set high for the reason that the judge disbelieves the defendant about his resources.  


    The transcript of the jail conversation (none / 0) (#79)
    by expy on Wed Jun 13, 2012 at 01:49:26 AM EST
    contradicts what you say.

    You wrote:

    If she thought she was just helping George move his money, and it was going to his legal expenses, she wouldn't have thought of it as her's -- or even both of theirs, since it was going to go to lawyers and creditors. It wasn't available for them to spend on themselves.

    But in the conversation related in the probable cause affidavit, George Zimmerman instructs his wife to make a 10% posting. She asks, "You don't want me to pay $100?" He says, "Hell no". She says, "All right, just think about it ... that's what it's for."  In context, it's clear they are talking about the funds they have been moving around -- the "that's what it's for" comment is during the 2nd phone call on April 16th while all the transfers were being made.


    effort. I'm not a big Zimmerman fan but unless they can convict him on perjury or whatever it is that Jeralyn says that could arguable charge him with  and do it before the murder trial, I just don't see any of this coming in at trial.  Look at the hundreds of posts arguing about this every which way and ask yourself whether a trial judge is going to hold a two-month mini trial to decide whether this is coming in as a past bad act.  

    And then there's the question of how and when this gets presented to the jury, do you instruct on it and if so what do you say, and also how do you keep things on track when Zimmerman simply says he didn't understand the significance of it all or whatever (just pick the top ten explanations from this comment thread) and the prosecution needs to start calling witnesses impeach him on the past bad act.  I just don't see the judge going for it.  It's too complicated and creates a messy record on appeal. I don't think it comes in if Zimmerman testifies, so I don't think it significant except that it might indicate that the State's case is much weaker than I'd previous thought.

    At this point, I think the physical evidence is the whole game.  If the physical evidence doesn't contradict him, Zimmerman is probably going to walk.  If it does, then he's finished anyway and whether he lied about his passport or how much money he had isn't going to make any difference either way.


    Nobody is talking about (5.00 / 1) (#87)
    by expy on Wed Jun 13, 2012 at 02:29:14 AM EST
    charging George Zimmerman with perjury -- that is the charge that has been brought against his [i]wife[/i].

    The revocation of Zimmerman's bail is not based on an allegation of criminal wrongdoing on [i]his[/i] part -- its simply because false or incomplete info was presented in his bail application, and it appears that Zimmerman knew the info to be false at the time. So that gave the judge the power to revoke bail, and the judge's opinion was that he had the option to either revoke or raise the bail amount.

    It's got absolutely nothing to do with the jury. It probably won't even come out in front of a jury unless Zimmerman says something on the witness stand that opens the door to him being cross-examined about his finances and previous representations.


    You're right that it's not coming in at trial but (5.00 / 1) (#90)
    by Mitch Guthman on Wed Jun 13, 2012 at 02:42:25 AM EST
    then what was the point of revoking Zimmerman's bond or arresting his wife if not to force a plea? Otherwise, it is a pretty significant commitment of resources to something that wouldn't normally be prosecuted.

    I mean, what's the point of all this---the guy isn't a danger to the community, the money isn't tainted regardless of whether he told the court about it and it's not a drug case so the prosecution isn't really trying to identify the source of the money.  This is the sort of low-level stuff that happens all the time and it's pretty unusual to go after the family members like this for the reasons I mentioned.

    Again, what the prosecution's motivation in all this?


    I don't know where you practice (5.00 / 1) (#99)
    by expy on Wed Jun 13, 2012 at 04:02:28 AM EST
    but in my neck of the woods, Judges HATE IT when people lie to them, and prosecutors tend to get really ticked off when family members show up to testify and tell bald-faced lies on the witness stand.

    They don't need extra reasons to revoke bonds or prosecute lying witnesses. They just do it because they have this notion that people ought to show respect for the court and the process.


    Judges hate lies??? (5.00 / 1) (#108)
    by lily on Wed Jun 13, 2012 at 09:46:24 AM EST
    The last time I was a defendant in a bogus case brought by a deranged neighbor, the judge explained to me in court "listen lady, people lie, that's a fact of life, you should get used to it"

    George Zimmerman's "failure" (5.00 / 1) (#92)
    by citizenjeff on Wed Jun 13, 2012 at 02:48:47 AM EST
    "...it appears that Zimmerman knew the info to be false at the time."

    Do we know that Zimmerman even listened to his wife's testimony, let alone that he concluded she gave false information? Was he obligated to listen?

    What exactly was Zimmerman required to disclose? When and in what manner was he required to disclose it?


    He was sitting in court at the time (5.00 / 1) (#98)
    by expy on Wed Jun 13, 2012 at 03:59:33 AM EST
    He had an obligation to ensure that the court was given accurate information about his finances, if he wanted to apply for bail.  

    Or, he could have opted to keep his finances private, and instructed his lawyer to request a reasonable bond with out making any representations in that respect.

    Generally, that would be done ahead of the hearing through consultation with a lawyer, as any minimally competent lawyer would have obtained the basic financial information and documentation prior to making representation at the bail hearing or making a claim of indigency.

    Capable criminal defense lawyers usually also make inquiry into family finances before taking on the defense of a serious felony, simply to know what resources they will have available for the defense.

    Actually, in my entire career, I never had a client or family members testify under oath at a bond hearing. The basic financial info was generally collected by the probation department or own recognizance project people; and any application for services based on indigency similarly required a financial statement.



    Obligation to ensure accurate information? (5.00 / 1) (#125)
    by Beasts of England on Wed Jun 13, 2012 at 01:17:57 PM EST
    Are you suggesting that George should have interrupted and/or asked to have her testimony corrected at some point in the proceeding?

    Doesn't he enjoy his 5th Amendment rights?

    I'm also told that if an attorney asks me on the stand 'Can you tell me what the weather's like outside?' then my reply should be 'Yes, I can.'

    Just trying to gauge your comment/concern.  Thanks.


    expy you are sounding far (5.00 / 1) (#153)
    by Jeralyn on Wed Jun 13, 2012 at 06:54:37 PM EST
    too prosecutorial for this site. And you keep stating your opinion as fact. I disagree he had an obligation to say anything. So don't lecture us on the law if it's your interpretation rather than an undisputed truth. If you find a Florida case that upheld the revocation of bond because a defendant failed to contemporaneously correct the testimony of his wife who was called by his lawyer, or the argument of his lawyer, please let us know. I'll be glad to cite it.

    All of your arguments assume deception on their part as opposed to misunderstanding. It's not appropriate to draw that conclusion now, based on one sided arguments of the state and their truncated and cherry-picked transcripts.


    I was basing my comments (none / 0) (#176)
    by expy on Wed Jun 13, 2012 at 10:20:01 PM EST
    on what the Judge wrote in his order revoking bail.

    its just the cetainty (5.00 / 1) (#181)
    by Jeralyn on Wed Jun 13, 2012 at 11:16:06 PM EST
    that comes across in your  comments that I have  a problem with. You are a very good writer, which is why I haven't limited you even though you and I clearly view the case differently. But comments here end up all over the internet, and will show as TalkLeft unless someone clicks through to read the whole thing. So since we disagree, and its unknown whose position will ultimately prevail,  it would help if you included a few "I think" and "my view is" in your comments, rather than stating them as fact. If you are recapping the judge's statements, just say that and give his argument and even say you support it.

    I don't know if you are in Florida, but I'm certainly not and while we're using our legal training to deconstruct events, and looking up statutes and case law, there are procedural goings on those of us who don't practice in Florida are probably missing that aren't written in any law books.

    I appreciate you commenting here, as I do all  practicing lawyers who comment. It's a good opportunity for our non-lawyer commenters (who probably make up 90% of our commenters) to be exposed to a variety of legal viewpoints, and understand that things are never quite as clearcut as they seem.


    Zimmerman's alleged duty (3.50 / 2) (#126)
    by citizenjeff on Wed Jun 13, 2012 at 01:23:17 PM EST
    "He had an obligation to ensure that the court was given accurate information about his finances, if he wanted to apply for bail."

    Well, that's your unsupported theory. I wonder what it's based on.

    What if he wasn't listening at all to her testimony? What if he was listening somewhat, but he didn't detect her moment of deception amid the truthful answers she gave (about whether or not she had assets that could be liquidated, and whether or not she knew how much money had been donated via the website)?

    You still haven't said exactly when and in what manner you think Zimmerman had a duty to speak out in response to testimony he might not have heard or understood. In other words, at what point did his silence constitute a violation of the statute or rule you cited? Does it matter that a few days later Zimmerman's lawyer notified the court how much money had been raised via the website? Does it matter that Mrs. Z testified that her brother-in-law could provide additional information about the website, and neither the judge nor prosecutor showed much interest in contacting him?


    The DEFENSE needed to provide accurate (none / 0) (#149)
    by expy on Wed Jun 13, 2012 at 06:35:37 PM EST
    information in its application for bail.

    They weren't required to provide financial information at all, but if they chose to do so, then the information needed to be accurate.  Judges set bails all the time without knowing anything about the defendant's finances-- the problem in this case is that O'Mara was trying to get the judge to set a lower bail amount based on the representation that the client and family had no funds or assets to put toward bail.

    Zimmerman could choose to conceal funds from his the court and keep quiet, but there is a consequence to that choice: the consequence is that his bail has now been revoked.

    No one gets to play games and put false information in front of a judge to get a benefit (bail).   Once the Judge learns the true information he has the inherent authority to take appropriate action. It doesn't matter whether it is Zimmerman or anyone else -- the Judge made a decision based on information that was materially false; having learned the truth he has taken corrective action.


    Based on what, expy? (5.00 / 1) (#191)
    by citizenjeff on Thu Jun 14, 2012 at 11:40:42 AM EST
    It seems that you're presenting what strikes you as fair as if it were the law, and you're evading my questions.

    Still unanswered:

    Was Zimmerman required to listen to and understand his wife's testimony? If so, what required it?

    Exactly when and in exactly what manner was Zimmerman required to "correct" his wife?

    At what point did Zimmerman violate the statute you cited?

    Under the statute you cited, has the prohibition on providing false/inaccurate/incomplete information ever before been interpreted as an obligation to "correct" the testimony of another witness?


    This gets to the core (5.00 / 1) (#207)
    by heidelja on Sat Jun 16, 2012 at 10:53:20 AM EST
    over why the judge considered GZ to be one who did not respect the "judicial process" on Apr 20! Shouldn't this be seen as ludricous posture on the judge's part for reasons you suggest while never forgettig GZ was represented by an attorney who would have instructed him not to speak?

    Why would the judge victimize GZ on June 1 when 1) all had been played out in front of him on Apr 20 by his fellow card cronies "practicing law" and 2) the Court had been informed of the money donated to the website on Apr 27 at which time the state sought an increase in bail, but the judge defferred any decision by needing more information?

    Has the judge been hearing whispers in his sleep of "impeachment" maybe for not the State's case seriously enough when presented by attorney's from out-of-town?  


    Does it contradict or is it... (none / 0) (#215)
    by heidelja on Mon Jun 18, 2012 at 06:11:00 AM EST
    ...just incongruent? Whatever might have been spoken days earlier while in jail may not have accurately be seen to contradict that thought and spoken on Apr 20. A person's perceptions are allowed to change by the learning process. Nonetheless, we're talking perceptions not empirical facts and they could not be seen to serve as a basis to support perjury.

    Easy way to link: (none / 0) (#65)
    by oculus on Tue Jun 12, 2012 at 11:47:12 PM EST
    copy the URL, paste it in the comment section, surround by brackets.  Just after the first bracket, type "link" or whatever you want the subject of the link to be.  Click on "preview" to make sure you did it ok.  Then click on "post."

    Trying, Oculus... (none / 0) (#100)
    by DebFrmHell on Wed Jun 13, 2012 at 04:03:17 AM EST
    to do it the right way.  It took me 8+ tries and previews before I got it right!  I kept trying to fit your directions with the link symbol on the formatting part.  Now I have your explanation saved to Word for reference.

    Thank you very much for explaining how to do it in a way I could understand...



    I am surprised there was an arrest (none / 0) (#73)
    by oculus on Wed Jun 13, 2012 at 12:45:56 AM EST
    warrant issued for Ms. Zimmerman.  Seems like a notify letter with date to appear in court would have sufficed.  

    Well, (none / 0) (#83)
    by Tamta on Wed Jun 13, 2012 at 02:14:54 AM EST
    That would not be as interesting a Tweet to read!

    I've never heard of a notice to appear (none / 0) (#84)
    by expy on Wed Jun 13, 2012 at 02:17:44 AM EST
    issuing for a felony charge.  

    Maybe it's just the jurisdiction where I live, but citations & notices are reserved for low-level misdemeanors and infractions.  

    A lawyer who knows that a client is likely to be charged with a non-violent felony generally can make arrangements for the client to turn themselves in for booking and to be released the same day, and as a courtesy the prosecutor often provides notice for that purpose.  

    That kind of looks like what happened in this case, given the fast turnaround between arrest and being released on bond.  


    It looks like prosecutor in CA has discretion (none / 0) (#127)
    by oculus on Wed Jun 13, 2012 at 01:26:00 PM EST
    to go by way of summons link

    Here's the Zimmerman... (none / 0) (#91)
    by Gandydancer on Wed Jun 13, 2012 at 02:43:08 AM EST
    APC without the two sentence redaction in the version Jeralyn supplied in her post. nb: Unlike the one attached to Shellie's "Issue Capias" request it is not titled "...in Support of Capias..." and I am still curious (a) was it attached to George's "Issue Capias" request, (b) is there a Capias warrant signed by the Clerk of the Court in the document trove, (c) is there any indication as to which judge, if any, directed the Clerk to sign the warrant or was it done on Corey's authority without judicial intervention? And, same questions for Shellie's IC.

    what do judges know? (none / 0) (#101)
    by spectator on Wed Jun 13, 2012 at 04:26:28 AM EST
     I'm your typical uneducated follower of this case, and it's great to see some level headed discussion finally.

    I have been curious to know if Lester has seen or heard more/less than us(public).

    Does a judge sort or sequester himself from media?

    How does this usually work?

    I apologize for such a dumb question.

    At this stage (none / 0) (#102)
    by expy on Wed Jun 13, 2012 at 05:05:24 AM EST
    Judge Lester probably knows less overall about the facts of the case than we do.  Discovery (police reports, etc.) would not be delivered to the Judge or presented until it became relevant to a hearing, and the Judge has other cases to worry about -- so he wouldn't be paying much attention to the details. He would ordinarily draw conclusions based on the paperwork that has been submitted to him.

    Of course, once the case is ready for trial, that will change, because then the parties are likely to seek advance rulings on evidence, often in a private in camera setting -- the Judge will see evidence that he decides is inadmissible at trial, as part of the process of ruling on admissibility.

    It is possible that the Judge has already seen some documentation that hasn't been released to the public, if it's relevant to a ruling that might be made in an in camera setting. I can't think of examples in this case, but in other cases it could be something like the identity of a confidential informant or allegations in support of an application for a search warrant.


    the judge is reviewing (none / 0) (#121)
    by Jeralyn on Wed Jun 13, 2012 at 12:45:01 PM EST
    the discovery in camera to determine what should be held back from public records. It may not be all the discovery, but it is at least the discovery that the parties think should be sealed -- he's reviewing it in chambers and will decide if their requests for redaction are appropriate. That includes witness statements, Zimmerman's statements and information concerning Trayvon.

    the judge was given (none / 0) (#154)
    by Jeralyn on Wed Jun 13, 2012 at 07:02:21 PM EST
    all of Zimmerman's statements to police and police reports about his statements on May 14, almost a month ago. The state's attorney says so in its motion for protective order -- see bottom of page 4, top of page 5.

    Unclear. (none / 0) (#124)
    by Tamta on Wed Jun 13, 2012 at 01:17:47 PM EST
    What's behind addressing indigence status while requesting bond?

    SZ's Affidavit (none / 0) (#128)
    by Sentenza on Wed Jun 13, 2012 at 01:44:47 PM EST
    Anyone seen the affidavit for SZ's probable cause?

    It's here.

    Perhaps (none / 0) (#130)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Wed Jun 13, 2012 at 02:06:56 PM EST

    Can't find it.  Did you misread?  Perhaps you could point out the statement where she states she has "no money."  

    I said she testified that they had no money (none / 0) (#131)
    by amateur on Wed Jun 13, 2012 at 02:19:57 PM EST
    not that she stated she had no money.  Small difference but I sense there will be much word parsing so I thought it important to clarify.

    On page 2 of the capias (after the cover):

    Q. And you mentioned also, in terms of the ability of your husband to make a bond amount, that you all had no money, is that correct?

    A. To my knowledge that is correct.

    On the preceding page, when questioned by O'Mara:

    Q. And is -- are you of any financial means where you can assist in those costs?

    A. Umm, not -- not that I'm aware of.

    Well, when O'Mara asks (5.00 / 3) (#136)
    by Anne on Wed Jun 13, 2012 at 03:21:43 PM EST
    "are you of any financial means where you can assist in those costs," that sounds a lot like him wanting her to tell the court what she has.

    And given that between the 16th and the 19th, she put some $74,000 in her account, it defies credulity that she could answer that question the way she did - "not that I'm aware of."


    It all depends on the meaning of "you" (5.00 / 1) (#157)
    by Lina Inverse on Wed Jun 13, 2012 at 07:34:22 PM EST
    But did she consider that to be "her" money?

    Would she not be guilty of some sort of conversion crime if she did and used it as such (like for her own defense, now...), instead of holding it in informal trust prior to transferring it to the official trust that was later established?


    No, Actually, (5.00 / 1) (#148)
    by Sentenza on Wed Jun 13, 2012 at 05:29:58 PM EST
    If you parse the question, she did not state that she had no money:

    Q. And you mentioned also, in terms of the ability of your husband to make a bond amount, that you all had no money, is that correct?
    A. To my knowledge that is correct.

    It appears that this questions is about whether or not she mentioned that she had no money before. They're asking about something she mentioned in a prior instance, not about what she has now.


    Not really (none / 0) (#189)
    by amateur on Thu Jun 14, 2012 at 09:55:16 AM EST
    That was on cross examination.  He's confirming her testimony just moments ago.  It really is better to read all of it taken together as it is transcribed in the capias in order to get the full context.  She's asked by O'Mara if they have any financial means to assist with the bond and she says, essentially, no.  She's asked again if she testified that they (or she, doesn't seem to matter in this case) have no money and she responds that is correct, with the usual hedge "to my knowledge".  It's really hard to parse that in a way that makes her not lying, but I await the surprise revelation of innocence anyway.

    Don't parse... (5.00 / 1) (#208)
    by heidelja on Sat Jun 16, 2012 at 11:55:28 AM EST
    ...comprehend the dichotomy of the semantics. Immediately before "they" (O'Mara & her) were talking in the context of "was she a lady of means?" for which her answer was the neagtive.

    All-in-all, was this statement assumedly alleged to be perjury one of fact, and not of opinion or belief....not grounded in ones perceptions at the time but ones of empirical fact? Secondly, was the question asked with the appropriate specificity necessary to result in an equally specific statement of fact?

    I am not sure it is easy to establish these criterion were met for her to have perjured herself.


    As for being a "lady of means".... (none / 0) (#211)
    by heidelja on Sun Jun 17, 2012 at 02:16:44 PM EST
    ...is there one simple question that could be asked with "appropriate specificity necessary to result in an equally specific statement of fact?"  I doubt there is. The state suggests by its probable cause Affidavit that by having made eight monetary transfers totaling $74,000 over the previous four days prior to being asked on Apr 20 she perjured herself by stating the negative that she was a "lady of means"!

    This brings up no less than FOUR possible questions of empirical fact she should have been asked by the state, but WAS NOT. 1) How much money she has in her bank acount? 2) Was money donated to the website? 3) And, if so, how much? 4) Had any money been transferred from that donated to a personal account?


    Warren Burger may have said it best.... (5.00 / 1) (#213)
    by heidelja on Sun Jun 17, 2012 at 03:29:18 PM EST
    ..in writing the unanimous opinion of Bronston v US: "If a witness evades, it is the lawyer's responsibility to recognize the evasion and to bring the witness back to the mark, to flush out the whole truth with the tools of adversary examination."

    Burger quote (none / 0) (#214)
    by citizenjeff on Sun Jun 17, 2012 at 09:54:17 PM EST
    Nice find!

    4/20 Transcript Shellie Zimmerman testimony (none / 0) (#182)
    by Tamta on Thu Jun 14, 2012 at 12:43:50 AM EST
    edited transcript /prosecutorial overreaching (none / 0) (#150)
    by lily on Wed Jun 13, 2012 at 06:37:19 PM EST
    Perjury charge against Shellie Zimmerman raises more questions of prosecutorial overreaching