Zimmerman Atty: Family "Made A Mistake" With Defense Funds

By: CBS News (Posted by Melissa Brunner)
By: CBS News (Posted by Melissa Brunner)
George Zimmerman, right, returns to the John E. Polk Correctional Facility in Sanford, Fla., Sunday, June 3, 2012, after his bond was revoked and he was ordered back to jail. Zimmerman is charged with second-degree murder in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin. (AP Photo/Orlando Sentinel, Joshua C. Cruey)

George Zimmerman, right, returns to the John E. Polk Correctional Facility in Sanford, Fla., Sunday, June 3, 2012, after his bond was revoked and he was ordered back to jail. Zimmerman is charged with second-degree murder in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin. (AP Photo/Orlando Sentinel, Joshua C. Cruey)

(CBS News) George Zimmerman's attorney said the Zimmerman family must apologize for not being straightforward with the judge about the funds raised online for George Zimmerman's defense - a situation which led the judge to revoke the neighborhood watch volunteer's bond and order him back to jail.

Last Friday Judge Kenneth Lester revoked Zimmerman's bond. The judge believed the man charged in the Trayvon Martin shooting, and his wife, had misled him by asking for a low bond - never mentioning their online defense fund had raised $135,000.

"He can't sit back and obtain the benefit of a lower bond or circumstances based upon those material falsehoods," Lester said.

On Sunday afternoon Zimmerman was escorted in handcuffs back into Seminole County's jail in Sanford. Described as "quiet and cooperative," he was booked and processed, and held on a no-bond basis, reports Mark Strassmann.

'It's a credibility question with Mr. Zimmerman," said Zimmerman's lawyer, Mark O'Mara. "and now that credibility has been attacked or tarnished. And now he's going to have to rehabilitate it. And that's up to him."

Zimmerman will live alone for the foreseeable future in a 67-square-foot cell, separated from the jail's general population for his own safety.

O'Mara denied that there was tension between himself and his client, but admitted Monday on "CBS This Morning" that "certainly there was some frustration with realizing that what was, I truly believe, an oversight, or at least a mistake that they made, has now truly come to bear on Mr. Zimmerman directly with his incarceration."

He told Charlie Rose that he believes the Zimmermans had made a mistake.

"I think it was out of fear, and maybe some frustration with having their lives turned completely upside-down and not having a good level of trust with anyone that they were dealing with. But I think they realize it was a mistake. They look forward to the opportunity to clearing that up with Judge Lester," O'Mara said.

When asked to explain further the Zimmermans' reasoning, O'Mara replied, "I truly want that explanation to go directly to the person who deserves it, Judge Lester. But not to sound coy, my understanding is that the family had been put upon with things - thrown out of their house, their jobs, schools, other family members in hiding. For whatever reason they felt the need to protect some of that money for a very uncertain future.

"I think now they realize that they should have simply trusted Judge Lester and the process to work with them fairly, even if they had not been treated fairly in the past. And I think they'll clear that up with Judge Lester.

"I think the Zimmerman family needs to apologize to the court for having not given him full information," O'Mara added. "I'm going to ask the court to rely on the fact that Mr. Zimmerman has, but for this event, treated the court fairly, treated the system fairly, he surrendered himself now twice, he's of course voluntarily given the police department all of the statements that they've wanted, he's involved in whatever testing the state has wanted or the defense has wanted. I think he's doing everything he should do.

"I think they were just acting out of fear and frustration, but they don't have that luxury," he said.

Rose asked O'Mara if he believed the judge had done the right thing by ordering Zimmerman back into jail.

"Judge Lester gave us all a very strong signal that he and he alone will run the courtroom and that everyone is going to tell the truth," O'Mara said. "I'm certain that not only the Zimmerman family but all other witnesses who come before Judge Lester had better tell the truth and nothing but the truth if they're going to be treated fairly."

The judge also ordered the release of state evidence that had been kept from the public because of sensitivity concerns.

The material could include Zimmerman's original interviews to Sanford police about shooting Trayvon Martin, jailhouse phone records, and transcripts of conversations between Zimmerman and his wife, Shellie.

Prosecutors claim the couple talked in coded language about transferring money from their online defense fund, and convinced Judge Lester that the Zimmermans had lied to him.

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