PUBLISHED: 20:40 GMT, 12 June 2012 | UPDATED: 22:22 GMT, 12 June 2012
The wife of George Zimmerman, who is currently imprisoned for murder charges relating to the death of Trayvon Martin in February, is now on the wrong side of the law herself.
Shellie Zimmerman was arrested today in Seminole County, Florida, on charges that she committed perjury during her husband’s bond hearing.
An order issued Tuesday by assistant state attorney John Guy charged her with knowingly making false statements during the April hearing.
Husband and wife: Shellie Zimmerman, left, was charged with lying during the bond hearing of her husband George, right
George Zimmerman has pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder in the shooting. He was granted $150,000 bond at that hearing and released.
The Orlando Sentinel reported that prosecutors alerted Judge Kenneth Lester that Mrs Zimmerman had lied about contributions to her husband’s legal defence to hide about $135,000.
Lester, in a strongly worded ruling, said the Zimmermans lied about how much money they had.
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An arrest affidavit for Shellie Zimmerman obtained by the Associated Press said that records show in April she transferred more than $85,500 from her bank account into her husband’s account.
The affidavit also indicated that records of Zimmerman’s calls from jail showed that George Zimmerman instructed his wife to ‘pay off all the bills,’ including a Sam’s Club card and American Express.
A state attorney investigator met with credit union officials and learned that she had transfer control of his account.
Zimmerman’s attorney Mark O’Mara has said the Zimmermans were confused and fearful when they misled court officials about how much money they had.
Shellie Zimmerman, a nursing student, was ordered held on $1,000 bond. Sources told the Sentinel that she was working to post her bond.
In Florida, perjury is punishable by up to five years in jail.
Victim: Trayvon Martin, 17, was unarmed when he was shot by Zimmerman, who claims he acted in self-defence
George Zimmerman, of Sanford, has been behind bars since Judge Lester revoked his bond earlier this month.
He came out of hiding when he returned to the John E. Polk Correctional Facility on June 3.
To pass the time, it appears he’s also writing postcards to loved ones, having requested several different varieties.
He also requested a writing pad, pens, pencils and four erasers.
He purchased two ‘Missing You,’ two ‘Thinking of You,’ and two ‘With Love,’ cards from the jail.
The former neighbourhood watch captain claims he was acting in self-defence when he shot Trayvon Martin on February 26.
On that night, Zimmerman spotted Martin, and called 911 to report that the hoodie-clad teen ‘looked suspicious.’
The 911 operator urged Zimmerman not to follow Martin and to stay in his truck, but Zimmerman, for unknown reasons, got out.
He claimed that he lost track of Martin and was returning to his car when he was ‘sucker-punched’ by the teen.
Zimmerman said he shot him, fearing that he was armed.
But Martin, 17, was not armed. He was returning to his father’s girlfriend’s house with an iced tea for himself and Skittles for his little brother.
Police contended that Zimmerman was protected under Florida’s ‘Stand Your Ground’ law, which gives wide latitude to use deadly force rather than retreat in a fight if people believe they are in danger of being killed or seriously injured.
The questioning of Zimmerman’s truthfulness by the judge last Friday could undermine the defendant’s credibility if it is brought up at trial.
As the case stands now, his credibility is absolutely critical to the case.
The initial lack of an arrest in the case sparked massive protests nationwide and debates about whether race was a factor in Zimmerman’s actions and in the initial police handling of the case.
Martin was black; Zimmerman’s father is white and his mother is from Peru.