The Lookout

George Zimmerman bond decision delayed by judge

Liz Goodwin
The Lookout

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George Zimmerman consults with his attorneys. (AP Photo/Joe Burbank/Orlando Sentinel)

A Florida judge is delaying his decision on whether to let George Zimmerman out of jail on bond, saying he will rule on the matter later.

Judge Kenneth Lester revoked Zimmerman's $150,000 bond earlier this month after he said Zimmerman, who awaits trial for the death of Trayvon Martin, and his wife intentionally tried to dissemble about their financial situation in April so that he could get out on bond. The pair did not disclose more than $100,000 raised on a legal defense fund website. Zimmerman's wife is charged with perjury. (The site raised more than $200,000 in donations.)

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The nondecision comes after a 2.5-hour hearing on Friday, during which the defense and prosecution conducted a sort of mini-trial. The state argued that Zimmerman is a dangerous criminal who should not be released on bail, while the defense put forward evidence that Zimmerman acted in self defense.

The defense team played a 911 call from the night that Zimmerman shot 17-year-old Martin.

"There's someone screaming outside. It sounds like a male. I think they're yelling help," the woman says in the call, as someone screams for help repeatedly in the background.

[Related: Witnesses change stories ahead of trial]

Zimmerman's lawyer Mark O'Mara then called Zimmerman's father, Robert Zimmerman, to the stand. He identified the screams heard on the call as his son's.

"It was absolutely George's," he said.

The prosecution pushed back in cross examination, saying that Zimmerman claimed Martin had covered his mouth, which would contradict his assertion that he screamed for help.

O'Mara did not put Zimmerman on the stand, and briefly drew the ire of the judge when he asked whether Zimmerman could make a statement to him without facing cross examination. Lester called it a "backdoor" tactic and refused the request.

Conor Skelding contributed to this report.

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