Attorney: George Zimmerman was confused, fearful



SEMINOLE COUNTY, Fla. - George Zimmerman's attorney, Mark O'Mara, said his client was confused and fearful when he allowed his wife to mislead court officials about the couple's finances.

Zimmerman is charged with second-degree murder in the death of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin.

O'Mara wrote Monday on a website run by Zimmerman's legal team that he would file a motion asking for another bond hearing.

A day earlier, Zimmerman returned to jail because his $150,000 bond was revoked.

He claims he shot the teen in self-defense.

The following statement was written on the website: "While Mr. Zimmerman acknowledges that he allowed his financial situation to be misstated in court, the defense will emphasize that in all other regards, Mr. Zimmerman has been forthright and cooperative. He gave several voluntary statements to the police, re-enacted the events for them, gave voice exemplars for comparison and stayed in ongoing contact with the Department of Law Enforcement during his initial stage of being in hiding."

Wearing a button-down checkered shirt, blue jeans and sneakers, a handcuffed Zimmerman was escorted by two deputy sheriffs from a white minivan into the Seminole County jail Sunday afternoon. He did not answer shouted questions from reporters as he was led inside the jail to be booked, photographed and processed.

WFTV learned that Zimmerman has been placed in a cell, separated by the general jail population. Zimmerman will not have access to a TV.

O'Mara carefully chose his words in addressing his next move before Circuit Court Judge Kenneth Lester, who on Friday said he believed Zimmerman and his wife had lied to the court in April about their finances to obtain a lower bond.

"He is in custody now," O'Mara said of Zimmerman, 28. "He's going to remain there until we get back before Judge Lester if and when he grants us a bond hearing. It sounded like he might consider it. But that is going to be based upon the motion itself."
O'Mara went on to say Sunday that he thinks the defense "explanation, or apology if it is, should go directly to the person who deserves it, in this case that is Judge Lester."
"Again, (we are) just hoping that the judge will give us an audience so we can further explain away why what happened seems to have happened," O'Mara said.
The judge on Friday gave Zimmerman two days to surrender, and about 40 minutes before the 2:30 p.m. Sunday deadline, the Seminole County jail website listed Zimmerman as an inmate. He was being held without bail and had $500 in his jail account, the website showed. A new booking photo showed a clean-shaven Zimmerman, with a fuller head of hair than the crew cut he sported in his April booking photo.
Seminole County Sheriff Donald Eslinger said Zimmerman turned himself in to two sheriff's deputies around 1:25 p.m. near the jail, and was then driven there.
"He is quiet and cooperative," Eslinger said at a news conference after Zimmerman's surrender.
The judge said Friday he would schedule a hearing after Zimmerman was back in custody so he could explain himself.
His legal team said Sunday they hope Zimmerman's voluntary surrender will show he is not a flight risk. The money Zimmerman has raised is in an independent trust and cannot be directly accessed by Zimmerman or his attorneys, according to a news release.
Zimmerman maintains that he shot Martin in self-defense under Florida's so-called "stand-your-ground" law because the teenager was beating him up after confronting him about following Martin. Zimmerman had called 911 to complain about suspicious activity. Martin was walking from a convenience store to the home of his father's fiance in the same gated community where Zimmerman lived.
Legal experts say Zimmerman's credibility could become an issue at trial, noting that the case hinges on jurors believing Zimmerman's account of what happened the night in February when Martin was killed.
Police in Sanford did not immediately arrest Zimmerman, citing the Florida stand-your-ground law that gives wide latitude to the use of deadly force rather than retreat in an altercation if someone believes he or she is in danger of being killed or seriously injured.
Protests were held across the nation, and the case spurred an emotional debate about whether race was a factor in Zimmerman's actions and in the initial police handling of the case. Zimmerman's father is white and his mother is from Peru.
After a special prosecutor eventually brought charges against Zimmerman, he was arrested 44 days after the killing.

A spokesperson for the State Attorney's Office would not say if Zimmerman will be charged with perjury.

The judge hasn't decided on whether she will face contempt of court for misleading the court.