For more than 30 hours, George Zimmerman poured his heart out in telephone calls to his wife, sister, mother, brother and cousin as he sat in custody at the Seminole County detention center, 145 audio files released Monday revealed.
But he tried his hand at diplomacy when it came to an April 19 call to a fringe pastor in Gainesville who was planning a rally on Zimmerman’s behalf two day later.
LISTEN: Jail calls
Pastor Terry Jones, who sparked international outrage when he burned Korans, was drawn to the publicity surrounding Zimmerman’s shooting of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin.
But the call released Monday revealed Zimmerman wanted nothing to do with him
“Can I start with a prayer?” Zimmerman asked at the start of the call.
With Jones’ assent, he launched into the Lord’s Prayer, then prompted Jones to pray as well.
“I wanted to thank you for your prayers,” Zimmerman said. “I see them being answered every day.”
The conversation quickly pivoted to Jones’ threatened rally.
“I was calling you to ask humbly – from one God-fearing sinner to another – for time (to) … allow the city to heal and America to heal,” Zimmerman told Jones. “God’s prayers are heard whether they are in Gainesville or Sanford.”
Jones said he would consider the request, but noted his plan was “a rally actually for constitutional rights, for innocent until proven guilty, to sort of counter what has been going on in the news media.”
Two days later, Jones and a tiny group of his followers had their say in front of the Seminole County criminal justice center.
The day before, Judge Kenneth Lester set a $150,000 bond and Zimmerman was amassing the bond to get out of jail the next week.
Lester set the bond at a hearing where, prosecutors say, Zimmerman’s wife, Shellie, committed perjury by claiming they were broke when, in fact, they had access to more than $100,000 in contributions raised on their website.
The day before the hearing, George Zimmerman had advice for his wife on her testimony: “Remember, just relax. Pray before you get on the phone and relax. Just tell the truth and whatever is meant to happen will happen.”
After the hearing, Shellie Zimmerman noted how defense attorney Mark O’Mara successfully attacked the state’s second-degree murder case.
“He made those guys look bad,” George Zimmerman offered.
“They made themselves look bad,” Shellie responded. “Because they’re the ones that decided to pursue this (criminal prosecution) and they had no right to. That’s their fault.”