(AP) — The lawyer for George Zimmerman, who shot an unarmed black teen in a case that has raised national questions and anger over race and self-defense laws, is expected to seek a new bond hearing after the killer was ordered back to jail. Zimmerman surrendered to authorities Sunday after a judge revoked his bond. Circuit Court Judge Kenneth Lester on Friday said he believed Zimmerman and his wife had lied to the court about their finances to obtain a lower bond to pay for their release.
Zimmerman did not answer shouted questions from reporters as he was led into the jail.
The former neighborhood watch volunteer is charged with second-degree murder in the fatal shooting Feb. 26 of 17-year-old Miami Gardens resident Trayvon Martin in a gated community in Sanford. Zimmerman, 28, has pleaded not guilty, saying he acted in self-defense under Florida's so-called “stand-your-ground” law after a confrontation between the two of them.
“He is in custody now,” defense attorney Mark O'Mara said of Zimmerman. “He's going to remain there until we get back before Judge Lester if and when he grants us a bond hearing.”
The judge on Friday had given Zimmerman two days to surrender and, about 40 minutes before the Sunday deadline, the Seminole County jail website listed Zimmerman as an inmate. He was being held without bail, the website showed.
Seminole County Sheriff Donald Eslinger said Zimmerman turned himself in to two sheriff's deputies near the jail.
“He is quiet and cooperative,” Eslinger told a news conference.
Prosecutors said last week that Zimmerman and his wife had told the judge at a bond hearing that they had limited money, even though he had raised about $135,000 through a website set up for his legal defense. They suggested more has been collected since and deposited in a bank account. Defense attorneys say the matter is a misunderstanding.
Zimmerman had been staying at an undisclosed location for his safety.
The judge said Friday he would schedule a hearing after Zimmerman was back in custody so he could explain himself.
Zimmerman’s legal team said Sunday they hope Zimmerman's surrender will show he is not a flight risk. The money he has raised is in an independent trust and cannot be directly accessed by him or his attorneys, according to a news release.
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 Trayvon was killed.
Police did not immediately arrest Zimmerman, citing the Florida stand-your-ground law that gives wide latitude to the use of deadly force 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.
Benjamin Crump, an attorney for Trayvon Martin's parents, said his clients have always said Zimmerman should remain in jail until trial.
Photo: George Zimmerman