Cash From Fund Helps Zimmerman's Living Expenses

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press
Some of the money raised from George Zimmerman

George Zimmerman appears before Circuit Judge Kenneth R. Lester Jr. Friday, April 20, 2012, during a bond hearing in Sanford, Fla. Lester says Zimmerman can be released on $150,000 bail as he awaits trial for the shooting death of Trayvon Martin. Zimmerman is charged with second-degree murder in the shooting of Martin. He claims self-defense. (AP Photo/Orlando Sentinel, Gary W. Green, Pool)

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) - May 8, 2012 -

Some of the money raised from George Zimmerman's legal defense fund is helping the former neighborhood watch leader pay for his living expenses and security while he awaits trial in hiding for the killing of Trayvon Martin.

Zimmerman's attorney said on his website that just under $50,000 of the more than $200,000 raised by Zimmerman's now-defunct website is being used for his security and setting up his living arrangements in hiding. Zimmerman has about $15,000 in cash.

The other $150,000 raised by the website has been turned over to independent administrator to manage.

Zimmerman has an arraignment hearing Tuesday. But he already has pleaded not guilty and didn't plan to attend.

His attorney, Mark O'Mara, on Tuesday also asked that Zimmerman's right to a speedy trial be waived.


SANFORD, Fla. (AP) - April 27, 2012 -

An attorney for George Zimmerman says he did not know the neighborhood watch volunteer had raised $200,000 on a website when he asked a judge for bond last week.

Attorney Mark O'Mara said Friday that not disclosing the money was an oversight.

Zimmerman was freed Monday on $150,000 bond, after his family told the judge they would barely be able to come up with the money to bail him out. O'Mara says the family was not trying to be deceptive.

Florida Circuit Judge Kenneth Lester asked to learn more about the money, though O'Mara believes the judge will not change the bond.

Zimmerman is accused of second-degree murder for the shooting death of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin, who was unarmed.

(AP) ORLANDO, Fla. -

George Zimmerman's attorney said a website created to raise money for his legal defense has raised more than $200,000.

Mark O'Mara said on CNN's Anderson Cooper 360 Thursday night that he learned about the money on Wednesday and will inform a judge at a Friday hearing.

Zimmerman, who has been charged with second-degree murder in the Feb. 26 shooting of Trayvon Martin, was released from jail this week and went into hiding after paying 10 percent of $150,000 bail. He has pleaded not guilty and is claiming self-defense.

O'Mara said the bail amount may have been higher if the judge knew Zimmerman had raised $200,000.

The website was no longer functioning as of Tuesday, said James Woods, O'Mara's spokesman, but O'Mara said he'll likely start a new defense fund for Zimmerman.

O'Mara did not immediately return a Thursday evening phone message by The Associated Press.

"It was taken down at Mark's request and he will not have any future online presence unless authorized in advance by Mark," Woods said in an email.

O'Mara has hinted that he will ask Zimmerman to be declared indigent, which would allow taxpayers to pay for his legal bills. Any income from the website would make that process more difficult.

The website was created almost two weeks ago by Zimmerman's family to thank his supporters and to receive donations from anyone who wanted to help with his legal defense.

The 44-day delay in Zimmerman's arrest spurred protests nationwide and inspired a national debate about racial profiling, equal justice under the law and Florida's self-defense law.

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