The Orlando Sentinel reports:
The court agreed with Zimmerman’s attorneys that Lester “made gratuitous, disparaging remarks about Mr. Zimmerman’s character; advocated for Mr. Zimmerman to be prosecuted for additional crimes; offered a personal opinion about the evidence for the prosecution; continued to hold over Mr. Zimmerman’s head the threat of future contempt proceedings, and ultimately set a bond at $1,000,000.In addition, the appeals court wrote:
Holding this [Judge Lester's perceived biases] over Mr. Zimmerman creates a horrible chilling effect on this case, on the defense presentation, and cements Mr. Zimmerman’s fear that he will not get a fair trial from the trial court.While Zimmerman is yet to stand trial for shooting and killing teen Trayvon Martin in February, this is clearly a win for the defense team. Both he and his wife purposefully misrepresented their finances to the court — among other vital details — causing Zimmerman’s bail to be set at a mere $150,000 even though, at one point, Zimmerman collected $1,000 per day from those who were sympathetic to his dubious cause.
And even though Judge Lester publicly reprimanded Zimmerman for his crimes, he still granted Zimmerman bail a second time. Still, now it is the judge, who hasn’t been very popular for his decision to grant bail to Zimmerman in either instance, who is being publicly criticized for his actions.
With Zimmerman, who murdered teen Trayvon Martin back in February, yet to stand trial for his charges, it becomes increasingly clear that Zimmerman has the resources and influence to sidestep what most could not.