Forgotten in the publicity surrounding the jury verdict in the case against George Zimmerman is that a perjury charge against his wife, Shellie Zimmerman, remains active.
According to the State Court docket, the case is scheduled for trial August 21. I have calls in to the prosecutors and defense counsel to confirm this.
The Judge on the case is Marlene M. Alva.
The Criminal Information and supporting Affidavit are embedded at the bottom of the post.
The charge surrounds Shellie’s sworn statements regarding funds available for George’s defense. When it was revealed that George had more money than was disclosed, his bail was revoked and he eventually was released on much higher bond.
I extensively analyzed the allegations in a post on June 13, 2012, Perjury charge against Shellie Zimmerman raises more questions of prosecutorial overreaching.
The main problem with the State’s case, as I see it, is that many of the statements alleged in the Affidavit were matters which were ambiguous or subject of opinion. In order to commit perjury, one has to make a false statement of fact (which is why the feds prefer to go with “obstruction of justice” instead of perjury).
Here’s one example from the prior post:
Q. Other major assets that you have which you can liquidate reasonably to assist in coming up with money for a bond?
A. None that I know of.
What are “major assets”? Isn’t that a matter of opinion? Similarly, what does “reasonably” mean? Isn’t that also a matter of judgment, not a fact? The same lack of clarity accrues to “liquidate.” If the alleged funds already were liquid, the funds could not be liquidated again.
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.
Notice the specific wording of the questions and answers. I think the best case for perjury was the response to the question whether “you all had no money.” (added) The way the question was structured, however, the question was whether Shellie previously said that there was “no money,” not that at the time of the question there was no money.
A motion to dismiss the charge on grounds of jurisdicion was denied in February, and the case has been on hold pending the conclusion of George’s case.