Shellie Zimmerman, wife of George Zimmerman, pleads guilty to a misdemeanor perjury charge at the Seminole County Courthouse in Sanford, Fla. on Aug. 28.(Photo: Gary W. Green, AP)
Sanford, Florida (USA TODAY) -- The wife of George Zimmerman, the neighborhood watch volunteer
acquitted in the killing of Trayvon Martin, has been sentenced to one
year probation and 100 hours of community service after pleading guilty
to a misdemeanor perjury charge for lying at her husband's bond hearing.
More Info: Shellie Zimmerman's court documentation (PDF)
Zimmerman, in court Wednesday, admitted that she perjured herself
before Judge Kenneth Lester at an April 22, 2012, bond hearing for her
husband. At that hearing, she told Lester, who was then presiding over
her husband's case, that the couple had little funds.
But in a
court filing, State Attorney Angela Corey said Shellie Zimmerman
perjured herself by failing to reveal that George Zimmerman had
collected more than $100,000 through Internet donations.
Zimmerman instructed Shellie Zimmerman on how to transfer money from his
bank account into hers and his sister's while he was in jail in April
2012, according to recordings of jail calls released by the Florida
State Attorney's Office. According to an affidavit, Shellie Zimmerman
transferred more than $74,000 to her personal account days before the
April bond hearing. Nearly $50,000 was transferred to an account held by
Taped phone calls between the couple revealed
that they had discussed the money transfers in code to hide the funds,
according to the affidavit. Prosecutors allege that Zimmerman and his
wife talked about $10, $20 and $100 to mask the fact that they were
referring to thousands of dollars. The calls also showed that George
Zimmerman instructed his wife to "pay off all the bills," including
payments to American Express and Sam's Club.
Lester ruled on June
3, 2012, that Shellie Zimmerman had "testified untruthfully" about their
finances. She was later arrested on June 12, 2012, and jailed briefly
in Seminole County before posting a $1,000 bond.
killed Trayvon Martin on Feb. 26, 2012, in a gated townhouse community
in Sanford, Florida, as the teen returned home from buying snacks at a
said he shot the unarmed teenager in self-defense after being attacked.
A jury last month found Zimmerman not guilty of second-degree murder and manslaughter.
Shellie Zimmerman had originally faced a third-degree felony perjury charge but the court accepted a plea deal. Wednesday,
she pleaded guilty to "perjury not in official proceedings," which is a
misdemeanor. She also filed in open court a letter of apology to
Lester. A copy of the letter was not immediately available to USA TODAY.
Assistant State Attorney John Guy, one of the attorneys who argued
before the court at George Zimmerman's trial, was back in court to
handle Shellie Zimmerman's case.
As part of Shellie Zimmerman's one year of probation, she was given a list of conditions she must abide by.
part, she cannot possess, carry or own a firearm and must get
permission to own any other type of weapon. She also must get permission
from her probation officer before moving, changing jobs or leaving the
county where she lives.
She must also report regularly to a
probation officer, pay $263 in court fees/fines and pay the state of
Florida $50 per month as a cost of supervision while on probation.
probation can also be revoked if she violates the law, associates with
anyone engaged in criminal activity or uses any drugs not prescribed by