Friday, April 27, 2012

Zimmerman's Wont Be Able To Claim Indigent Status After Raising $200k

Mark O'Mara, George Zimmerman's lawyer, had been hoping to make a motion before the court to claim that his client should be deemed an indigent case so as to get taxpayer funds to cover the costs of his trial preparation.

That's not going to go over well considering that Zimmerman's website (before it was taken down yesterday) netted him over $200,000 for his defense fund. I doubt O'Mara will press the motion, and it could raise questions on whether bail was set sufficiently high.
O'Mara asked the judge if he could disclose the donor list and information about the accounts in a private meeting to avoid exposing contributors to "ridicule and danger." On CNN last night, O'Mara said up to 50 people had sent checks for Zimmerman's defense—he said Zimmerman casually brought it up with him after last week's hearing: "He asked me what to do with his PayPal accounts, and I asked him what he was talking about," O'Mara told Anderson Cooper. "He said those were the accounts that had the money from the website he had. And there was about ... $204,000 that had come in to date." O'Mara added that Zimmerman used some of the money already for living expenses, and the rest has now been placed in a trust by O'Mara.

Also at the hearing, prosecution asked for a gag order on O'Mara, which the judge rejected. And attorneys for the Orlando Sentinel, WFTV-Channel 9, NBC, CNN, The New York Times and other media companies gathered in court to argue in favor of access to records in the Zimmerman case.

I still think the bail was set reasonably if on the low end. Bail is supposed to insure that the defendant appears - not punitive to keep someone in jail unless they are a clear risk to the public.

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