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George Zimmerman support website raised $200K; Trayvon's family wants bail revoked

George Zimmerman, the neighborhood watch volunteer accused of murdering Florida teenager Trayvon Martin, appears in a Florida courtroom for a bail hearing on Friday, April 20, 2012.

April 27, 2012 12:00:00 AM PDT
The attorney for George Zimmerman, the neighborhood watch volunteer who shot and killed an unarmed teenager in Florida, revealed in court that a website has raised $200,000 for his client's defense.

His attorney, Mark O'Mara, said on CNN's "Anderson Cooper 360" that he only learned about the money Wednesday. He informed Florida Circuit Judge Kenneth Lester at a hearing on Friday, and called it an "oversight" that Zimmerman did not disclose the funds.

Zimmerman, 28, who has been charged with second-degree murder in the Feb. 26 shooting of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin, was released from jail this week after paying 10 percent of his $150,000 bail. O'Mara said Zimmerman's family used $5,000 from the website as well as a second mortgage on their home to bail him out. The attorney also said Zimmerman has used some of the money for living expenses.

Martin was walking back to the home of his father's fiancé when Zimmerman saw him, called 911 and began following him. Investigators said a fight broke out, but it's unclear who started it.

Benjamin Crump, the attorney for Martin's parents, said Friday that he asked the prosecutor in the case to request that the judge revoke Zimmerman's bail for not disclosing at the original bond hearing last week how much money he had.

Crump said the parents, Tracy Martin and Sybrina Fulton, were "offended" that Zimmerman failed to inform the court of the money the website raised.

O'Mara claimed the family was not trying to be deceptive, but Lester said he wanted to know more about the money. O'Mara doesn't think the judge will change Zimmerman's bond in light of the new information.

The money was raised by a website that Zimmerman's family set up for his legal defense, according to O'Mara.

Friday's hearing was originally scheduled to deal with several media organizations asking the judge to unseal documents from Zimmerman's court file.

O'Mara said the website in question has since been shut down, but he said the defense is starting two others.

Also Friday, Lester refused the prosecution's request to issue a gag order on those involved in the murder trial. He said he would not stop Zimmerman's attorneys from talking to the media.

Zimmerman has gone into hiding since his release on bail. Under terms of his bond, he has to wear a GPS ankle bracelet that authorities can use to track his location round the clock.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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