Zimmerman’s lawyers delay request for new bond hearing

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George Zimmerman sits on the stand during his bond hearing in a Seminole County courtroom on April 20, 2012 in Sanford, Florida. (Photo by Gary Green/The Orlando Sentinel-Pool/Getty Images)

Lawyers for George Zimmerman have delayed filing for a new bond hearing, despite announcing on Monday that they would do so that day.

Zimmerman, 28, is in a Seminole County jail awaiting trial on second degree murder charges in the killing of Trayvon Martin, 17. Zimmerman bonded out of jail in April, but that bond was revoked after the judge learned from prosecutors that Zimmerman and his wife, Shellie, misled the court in the April 20 hearing at which his $150,000 bond was set. At the time, the Zimmermans claimed to have no income and no assets. But prosecutors later learned, through taped phone conversations and bank records, that a fund George Zimmerman set up through a website had raised at least $135,000, which was sitting in Shellie Zimmerman’s credit union account.

A post on the GZLegalCase.com website on Tuesday read simply, “Mr. Zimmerman’s legal defense team has decided to delay filing a motion for bond. A hearing will not be scheduled for a couple of weeks, and we will file a the motion well in advance of the hearing.”

That means Zimmerman could spend weeks — or more — in a 67-foot cell at the John E. Polk Correctional Facility in Sanford, Florida while his lawyer, Mark O’Mara, considers requesting a new trial. Whether the judge would allow Zimmerman out on bond a second time, after Zimmerman’s lawyer admitted his client allowed his finances to be misrepresented before that same judge, is another matter.

“Some judges would say, look, the consequences of falsity are for others to decide, based on prosecutorial discretion,” Kendall Coffey, a former U.S. attorney for the southern district of Florida, told theGrio. Coffey said the judge could put aside the issue of whether Zimmerman misled his court the first time, and determine that the “sole question is whether [Zimmerman] is a flight risk, or a danger to the community, etc.  Of course the next time, the bond could considerably higher.” But, he added, “you could see a situation where a judge says [to a defendant,] you essentially perpetrated a fraud on the court and abused the latitude the court gave you [in granting bond] so you’re not gonna get a second chance.”

Natalie Jackson, an attorney for Martin’s parents, had a theory as to why O’Mara delayed his filing for a new bond hearing. “I believe the defense has decided against (for the moment) putting him back on the stand, until they can craft an honest — but non-harmful to their case — apology to the court,” Jackson told theGrio. Simply stated: at another bond hearing, George Zimmerman would be forced to take the stand in an attempt to explain away his ‘material falsehood’ to the court. That’s risky business for the defense team.”

Whatever the cause for the delay, the question of a new bond hearing will have to wait for now. Judge Kenneth Lester, who is presiding over the Zimmerman case, is away from the court for a pre-scheduled absence.

Follow Joy Reid on Twitter at @thereidreport