- (Photo: Twitter/@MarlenaCNN)
Shellie Zimmerman, the wife of George Zimmerman, the Florida neighborhood watchman recently acquitted of fatally shooting teenager Trayvon Martin, pleaded guilty to perjury charges on Wednesday and apologized to the court, noting that she is a Christian and should not be lying under oath to God.
"By lying under oath, I let my God down, I let your Honor and the court down, ... and most of all I let myself down," Zimmerman wrote in a letter to Judge Kenneth Lester.
"I am a Christian and I know the words of the Bible, especially those of Jesus in the Gospel of John 8:32. I am sorry that I had forgotten this passage and forevermore I promise to remember, 'The truth will set you free.'"
Zimmerman admitted that she had lied at an April 2012 bond hearing about the shared finances between herself and her husband, claiming that they were almost non-existent, when in fact George Zimmerman had raised nearly $200,000 for his defense through an online website, ABC News shared.
Later, taped jail house recordings showed the married couple speaking in code about their finances, which led to the defendant's bail being revoked and raised to $1 million bond.
George Zimmerman was found not guilty in July on the charges of second-degree murder and manslaughter.
The verdict sparked mass protests across America, with Martin's parents and supporters insisting that Zimmerman should not have been allowed to walk free. Multiple campaigns and online websites have been set up declaring that justice has not been done for the slain African-American teenager, though Zimmerman's family has defended the neighborhood watchman and insisted that the incident had nothing to do with racism.
Shellie Zimmerman, whose guilty plea allows her to avoid a felony charge, will now have to complete 100 hours in community service and a year of probation, in addition to writing a letter of apology to the judge she lied to.
On Tuesday, CNN reported that George Zimmerman's attorney was planning on sending a reimbursement request to the state of Florida to cover the expenses that incurred during the trial.
The costs may cover expenses for bringing in expert witnesses, travel, and fees for transcripts, though they do not extend to lawyer fees. Florida laws allow acquitted defendants to ask for such a refund, though it first must be approved by a clerk or judge.