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Vindictive: Now George Zimmerman’s Wife Faces Perjury Charge

As with her husband's prosecution, there is no evidence to support a filing.

by
Mike McDaniel

Bio

August 14, 2013 - 12:21 am
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The Zimmerman saga is far from over. Despite being acquitted of second degree murder charges, George Zimmerman faces federal prosecution, as the most racialist and politicized DOJ in history weighs the political implications. And his wife, Shellie, faces a trial for perjury scheduled to begin on August 21.

Perjury is very difficult to prove, rarely filed, and much misunderstood. Florida statute 837.02(1) states:

Except as provided in subsection (2), whoever makes a false statement, which he or she does not believe to be true, under oath in an official proceeding in regard to any material matter, commits a felony of the third degree …

In addition, Cohen v. State (2008) held:

Statements alleged to be perjurious must be of “empirical fact” and not of opinion, belief or perception. … One of the essential elements of perjury in official proceedings is that the person making the statement does not believe it to be true. … The questions posed to elicit perjured testimony must be asked with the appropriate specificity necessary to result in an equally specific statement of fact.

Simply put, in order to win the case against Shellie Zimmerman, the state must be able to prove every element of the offense: that she (1) while under oath (2) in a judicial proceeding (3) made a false statement (4) that she knew to be false about (5) a material matter. In addition, that statement must be about a matter of objective fact, not an opinion or an incorrect guess. If a prosecutor doesn’t ask sufficiently direct and specific questions so as to elicit objectively factual responses, he’s out of luck.

Out of luck, that is, unless that prosecutor is engaged in a political action that ignores the law and legal ethics.

In many ways, the largest impediment to a successful perjury prosecution is the necessity of proving what a defendant believed. In this case, all the prosecution appears able to prove is that Zimmerman was under oath in a judicial proceeding.

The story begins on April 20, 2012, at a bond hearing for George Zimmerman, whose bond had been revoked by Judge Kenneth Lester. Judge Lester’s bias against George Zimmerman became so blatant that the Fifth District Court of Appeals removed him from the case on August 29, 2012, a rarity. Prior to that hearing, George was incarcerated and his phone calls and other contacts with Shellie were recorded. During the April 20 hearing, Shellie — who was in hiding due to credible death threats — testified by phone.

At issue is the existence of a PayPal account that had been established as a defense fund for George Zimmerman. The account balance was to eventually increase to a little more than $200,000, an amount that was to become a drop in the bucket of legal fees and expenses that still appear to have no end. At the hearing, all parties — judge, defense and prosecution — were aware of that account and were treating it as separate from the Zimmerman’s normal finances (checking account and savings account).

Mark O’Mara had been George’s attorney for only about a week and was struggling to get up to speed with every element of the case. At previous hearings, Judge Lester stated on the record that he had no idea if he had any authority to deal with that PayPal account and would have to research the matter. It appears that he never did that. In any case, everyone involved knew about and discussed the account; there was never any attempt to hide it, and George did not testify about anything at the hearing other than to briefly take the stand to apologize to the family of Trayvon Martin for his death.

By that point, the Zimmermans were destitute. Driven from their home by death threats and a relentless media falsely depicting George as a racist murderer, living in hiding, driven from their jobs and their schools, they had no income and no way to earn it. This, too, was well-known to everyone involved.

The affidavit for the perjury charge, written and submitted by special prosecutor investigator T.C. O’Steen, is — like the affidavit submitted for the murder charge — devoid of probable cause.

In fact, it does not establish a single specific statement made by Shellie Zimmerman and explain why that specific statement was false, why it was material, how it was a matter of objective fact, or why Shellie believed it to be false as she uttered it.

Of all of the elements of the offense that must be established and proved, the state established only that Shellie was under oath and testified in a judicial proceeding.

Not only does the affidavit fail to fulfill the elements of the offense, by omission it actually lies to and misleads the court. In this case, there is no doubt that Judge Lester was biased against George, but it is most likely that the affidavit was approved because judges are generally not used to dealing with prosecutors willing to lie to them. Receiving an affidavit for a felony charge, they tend to rubber stamp it, not considering that a prosecutor, an officer of the court, would mislead them. In this case, that’s exactly what happened.

This is the relevant excerpt from the affidavit of the cross examination of Shellie by Bernie de la Rionda:

Q: And you mentioned also, in terms of the ability of your husband to make a bond amount, that you all had no money, is that correct?

A: To my knowledge, that is correct.

Q: Were you aware of the website that Mr. Zimmerman or somebody on his behalf created?

A: I’m aware of that website.

Q: How much money is in that website right now? How much money as a result of that website was –

A: Currently, I do not know.

Q: Do you have any estimate as to how much money has already been obtained or collected?

A: I do not.

Compare it with the transcript of the same testimony. The sections of the transcript that were omitted in the affidavit are in italics:

Q: How much money is in that website right now? How much money as a result of that website was –

A: Currently, I do not know.

Q: Who would know that?

A: That would be my brother-in-law.

Q: And is he — I know he’s not in the same room as you, but is he available so we can speak to him, too, or the Court can inquire through the State or the Defense?

A: I’m sure that we could probably get him on the phone.

Q: Okay. So he’s not there now.

A: No, he is not, sir.

Q: Do you have any estimate as to how much money has already been obtained or collected?

A: I do not.

Q. Okay. You haven’t talked to your brother-in-law in terms of just bare amount of how much money?

A. No. No, I have not.

Q. Okay. And how long has that website been in existence, ma’am?

A. I do not know. I have not been with my husband since he’s been in hiding. I do not know.

Q. Okay. So you mentioned your husband was in hiding. I understand he left the state, is that correct?

A. That’s correct.

Q. Okay. And did you continue to have contact with him while he was out? 

A. Yes, every day.

Q. And that was every day?

A. Yes.

Shellie testified that they had no money in their normal accounts and that she had no idea how much money was in the Internet account, but that her brother-in-law probably knew that information and that she could get him on the phone.

Notice that the pertinent information about the brother-in-law was completely removed from the affidavit.

Comments are closed.

Top Rated Comments   
The prosecution of Shellie Zimmerman is disgusting. A couple of weeks ago I received a general email from Trayvon Martin's parents asking for a donation. The email falsely claimed that Zimmerman "stalked, hunted down and shot" their son". I have no idea how I got on their mailing list since I am solidly conservative.

Does anyone know where I can contribute to the Zimmerman's legal fees?
35 weeks ago
35 weeks ago Link To Comment
Actually, it's purpose is exactly what this article does -- make sure the general public knows how expensive it is to own a gun and to use it when needed. The rationale is obvious. It's all about fear.
35 weeks ago
35 weeks ago Link To Comment
Justice in the United States is becoming politicized to an obscene degree. It is frightening and argues further for 'Red-stating' and secession.
35 weeks ago
35 weeks ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (75)
All Comments   (75)
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O and and it's dey and not they Lol
34 weeks ago
34 weeks ago Link To Comment
Next
34 weeks ago
34 weeks ago Link To Comment
Lol grammer and facts..it's so funny I don't support either side I just can't condone the unjustified killing of a child.Zimmerman was a creep and anyone who supports him I feel is evil. Im still drying to hear or see all the facts that's proved his undoubted innocence, sorry it was 50/50 based really on testimony i think any educated person could see that.im not here to debate my education level or grammer just simply state my view on things...yo yo yo boi homie dog I missed some .maybe a.common but you get the point. Lol lol the let's try and play the your an.uneducated person we can't understand what u trying to say card lololol wow so aggressive ooch...in reference to him going home why should he let a man who he felt was a stalker creep follow him home...none the less Zimmerman your a wierdo creep I can't wait to see the end result of this mess you caused you killed a child I hope your mother feels that same pain soon..
34 weeks ago
34 weeks ago Link To Comment
I think it had to do with some shady phone calls she had with him while he was in jail....the man killed someone he should be in jail so instead we'll just make his life a living hell starting with your wife who would be about her wife duties (supporting her unemployed husband who can't keep a job because he gets a Lil aggressive every now and then)lol had zimmerman said from about 7 feet away from Trayvon as he was walking towards him "im neighbourhood watch" are you o.k may I help u, he would have learned the child he killed was his neighbour not his enemy. Zimmerman wants something more then what money can buy him he wants to walk outside of hiding and minging and be a member of his community again but your a murder u should be in jail.sorry [http://jail.sorry/] anytime you save a family from a burning car and they don't even want to be seen with you that is an issue u should be worried lol he's not a racist just a coward to his family and country also he smacked an ex girlfriends across the face. Hence coward... I think he pinned the boy down thinking he caught his first big catch not understanding the boy was fighting with all his worst nightmares come true not his local neighbourhood watch
34 weeks ago
34 weeks ago Link To Comment
You know, I notice the Zimmerman supporters consistently can't be bothered with things like grammar or facts.

They be stupid.
34 weeks ago
34 weeks ago Link To Comment
You really think my view point is that stupid it's so funny Zimmerman. It's one thing to be dumb and another to have a different point of view don't be shady lol
34 weeks ago
34 weeks ago Link To Comment
Don't you mean the Martin supporters?
34 weeks ago
34 weeks ago Link To Comment
You had it right...u made the whole Mob look stupid hahahahaha spell check dummy moron hahahaha i rest my case
34 weeks ago
34 weeks ago Link To Comment
I remember constantly hearing from anti zimmerman people how zimmerman lied about the defense account, and thus proved he was a liar who could not be trusted. now it looks like even that was a lie.
35 weeks ago
35 weeks ago Link To Comment
I guess the first act of Defense is to file for a directed verdict for acquittal.
35 weeks ago
35 weeks ago Link To Comment
Pure mendacity!

Angela Corey needs to be strung up from the nearest lamppost.
35 weeks ago
35 weeks ago Link To Comment
I want to know where the perjury charges are for Obama, Pelosi, Franks ,Reid, Lerner and all of the other liars in this government then.
35 weeks ago
35 weeks ago Link To Comment
More criminal abuse of process and malicious prosecution by a corrupt public official who should be criminally charged.
35 weeks ago
35 weeks ago Link To Comment
Classic. Milk as much as you can out of 'finished' business. Keeps you from having to go back to work.

Probably the last one to leave a party.
35 weeks ago
35 weeks ago Link To Comment
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