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Shellie Zimmerman, George Zimmerman's wife, pleads guilty to misdemeanor perjury in plea deal, report says

George Zimmerman and Shellie Zimmerman are seen in pictures released by the Seminole County Sheriff's Office.
George Zimmerman and Shellie Zimmerman are seen in pictures released by the Seminole County Sheriff's Office. CBS/AP Photo/Seminole County Sheriff's Office

(CBS) ORLANDO, Fla. --The wife of George Zimmerman, the former neighborhood watch captain acquitted in the Feb. 2012 shooting death of Florida teen Trayvon Martin, pleaded guilty this morning to a misdemeanor charge of perjury in a plea deal, reports the Orlando Sentinel.

Shellie Zimmerman was sentenced to serve one year of probation under the deal, designed to avoid a felony conviction, reports the paper.

PICTURES: George Zimmerman on trial in death of Fla. teen

Shellie Zimmerman was accused of lying during one of her husband's bond hearings last year. She allegedly told a judge that the couple had no money, when they reportedly had received more than $130,000 in donations from internet donors who wanted to aid in her husband's defense.

The couple reportedly talked about the donations in recorded phone calls at the Seminole County jail, just days before the bond hearing during which she was accused of lying.

Prosecutors alleged the two talked in code during the phone calls, referring to $10 when they meant $10,000, reports the paper. During the calls, George Zimmerman reportedly instructed his wife to transfer funds between various accounts.

Court records show that in the days before the bond hearing in June 2012, Shellie Zimmerman transferred $74,000 - broken into eight smaller transfers ranging from $7,500 to $9,990 - from her husband's credit union account to hers. It also shows that $47,000 was transferred from George Zimmerman's account to his sister's in the days before the bond hearing. Amounts of over $10,000 would have been reported to the Internal Revenue Service.

Four days after he was released on bond, Shellie Zimmerman transferred more than $85,500 from her account into her husband's account, records show. They also show that the jail recorded George Zimmerman instructing her on a call to "pay off all the bills," including an American Express and Sam's Club card.

After Shellie Zimmerman's false statements were discovered, the judge revoked her husband's bail. He was later released on $1 million bond.

A felony conviction would have barred Shellie Zimmerman from applying to be a nurse for three years. She was reportedly studying to be a nurse at the time of her arrest. She could have face up to five years in prison.

She will also reportedly be required to serve 100 hours of community service under the plea deal.

Zimmerman, 29, was acquitted in July on second-degree murder charges in Martin's death. Zimmerman claimed he shot in self-defense after the 17-year-old attacked him. A delay in Zimmerman's arrest prompted protests nationwide, with some claiming Zimmerman racially profiled Martin.

The high-profile trial drew the national and international spotlight.

Complete coverage of the George Zimmerman Trial-Trayvon Martin case on Crimesider

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