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George Zimmerman’s wife pleads guilty to perjury

Shellie Zimmerman wrote an apology letter as part of her plea deal.

Shellie Zimmerman wrote an apology letter as part of her plea deal.

SANFORD, Fla. — George Zimmerman’s wife pleaded guilty Wednesday to a misdemeanor perjury charge for lying during a bail hearing after her husband’s arrest, and she was sentenced to a year’s probation and 100 hours of community service.

Shellie Zimmerman, 26, was charged with felony perjury after she lied about the couple’s assets during a bail hearing following her husband’s arrest for the fatal 2012 shooting of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin. George Zimmerman, a neighborhood watch volunteer, was acquitted last month of second-degree murder. Shellie Zimmerman had been charged with a felony and, if convicted, had faced up to five years in prison and a $5,000 fine. She had given her bail-hearing testimony by telephone last year because of safety concerns.

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As part of the deal, Shellie Zimmerman wrote a letter of apology to Judge Kenneth Lester, who presided over last year’s bail hearing.

‘‘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,’’ she wrote.

Shellie Zimmerman misled the court because she had been told by others to say ‘‘maybe that’s not my money,’’ her attorney, Kelly Sims, said after the hearing.

‘‘But in her heart, you know, if it walks like a duck and looks like a duck and it quacks like a duck, it’s a duck,’’ Sims said. ‘‘She was calling from a phone. She was scared. Her husband was locked up.’’

Prosecutor John Guy said he agreed to the deal because Shellie Zimmerman didn’t have a prior criminal record and the misdemeanor plea would allow her to pursue her nursing career.

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