Trayvon case: ‘Zimmerman back in Florida for surrender’
Sanford: George Zimmerman has returned to Florida and will turn himself in to authorities by on Sunday`s deadline after a judge revoked his bond in the Trayvon Martin case, an attorney said.
Attorney Mark O`Mara announced Zimmerman`s return on his website Sunday, saying Zimmerman arrived late this evening.
Zimmerman, who is charged with second-degree murder in the fatal shooting of the 17-year-old Martin, was ordered by a judge Friday to return to jail.
The press release on the website said the deadline for his surrender is 2:30 pm (local time) today.
The judge revoked Zimmerman`s bond, suggesting he and his wife had not been honest about their finances. During a bond hearing in April, the couple had indicated they had limited funds.
But prosecutors say Zimmerman had raised thousands through a website he had set up for his legal defence.
Zimmerman`s legal team said today that they will ask for a new bond hearing to address those concerns, and that they hope Zimmerman`s voluntary surrender will show he is not a flight risk.
Furthermore, the money Zimmerman has raised is in an independent trust and cannot be directly accessed by Zimmerman or his attorneys, according to the press release.
Zimmerman has pleaded not guilty to the second-degree murder charge. He maintains he shot Martin in self-defence under Florida`s so-called "stand your ground" law because the teen, who was unarmed, was beating him up after confronting Zimmerman about following him in a gated community outside Orlando.
Zimmerman`s credibility could become an issue at trial, legal experts said, noting the case hinges on jurors believing Zimmerman`s account of what happened the night in February that Martin was killed.
Zimmerman wasn`t charged in the case until more than a month after the shooting. Protests were held across the nation, and the case spurred debate 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.
Police in Sanford did not immediately arrest Zimmerman, citing the Florida law that 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.