OCALA, Fla., August 29, 2013 — Yesterday, Shellie Zimmerman plead guilty to making perjurious statements before her husband’s now-infamous trial.
In a case that not only attracted widespread media attention but ignited a national debate over race relations, multiracial neighborhood watch captain George Zimmerman was acquitted of murdering unarmed black seventeen-year-old Trayvon Martin. Since this took place last month, attention has turned to allegedly illegal tactics used by prosecutors.
Rene Stutzman of the Orlando Sentinel writes that “Shellie….had been charged with felony perjury, which carried a possible sentence of five years in prison. Instead, she negotiated a a deal to plead guilty to a less serious crime — misdemeanor perjury.
“She was composed during her 10-minute hearing, answering questions from Circuit Judge Marlene Alva in a clear, confident voice, saying, ‘Yes, ma’am,’ when asked if she understood what she was doing.”
Last year, Shellie knowingly made false statements so that her husband would receive a lesser bail bond rate. It has been reported that relations between the two are now strained. George was not to be seen during Wednesday’s court proceeding.
“By lying under oath, I let my God down, I let your Honor and the court down, I let my family and friends down, and, most of all, I let myself down,” Shellie wrote to the presiding judge. “In the future, no matter what the consequences, I will tell the truth because in the end all you have is your integrity. I promise, your Honor, to work hard to restore mine before the eyes of my God and the world.”
Shellie Zimmerman was sentenced with community service, as well as one year of probation. She will not serve any time in jail as part of her plea deal.
Whether or not George will accompany her from this point forward remains a mystery. Since being declared a free man, he has spent time in Texas, where he was stopped for speeding several weeks ago. More recently, he visited the headquarters of a gun manufacturer located in Cocoa, a central Florida city just west of Cape Canaveral.
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