Audio recordings from phone calls George Zimmerman made while in jail in April were released Monday by Florida special prosecutor Angela Corey.
The six phone calls are part of the state's evidence alleging that Zimmerman and his wife, Shellie, misled the court during an April bond hearing.
The former neighborhood watch volunteer is charged with killing 17-year-old Trayvon Martin in February. Zimmerman, a licensed handgun permit holder, said he shot in self defense during a scuffle with Martin.
A judge released Zimmerman on $150,000 bond after the couple testified they had little money. But on the calls recorded after his arrest, Zimmerman is heard coaching his wife and sister on how to move tens of thousands of dollars donated to his legal defense fund.
Prosecutors say the phone calls are proof the Zimmermans had access to nearly $130,000 when he was freed. During one jailhouse conversation, George Zimmerman tells his wife how much it means to him that strangers were donating to his PayPal account.
"Ah man, that feels good," he said.
"... so many people, your-your site kept crashing," Shellie Zimmerman replied.
After his wife was able to start transferring funds, Zimmerman instructs her to pay off nearly all the couple's bills and to purchase bulletproof vests for her, him and his attorney.
"We need to get on it ASAP, cause you know ... personally, I want you wearing one," Zimmerman said from the Seminole County Jail.
"OK," she replied.
"As uncomfortable as it is, I want you wearing one," he said.
Zimmerman was ordered back to jail earlier this month when the judge learned of the money from the defense fund. His wife was charged with perjury related to her testimony about the family's finances.
Reuters posted links to the unedited calls and transcripts:
- Crime & Justice
- Politics & Government