MIAMI June 4, 2012— -- Donations to the legal defense fund of George Zimmerman have surged since the accused killer of Miami teenager Trayvon Martin has been ordered back to jail, his lawyer told ABC News today.
Attorney Mark O'Mara said Zimmerman's online defense fund has been receiving about $1,000 a day in donations, but the pace picked up after a judge required Zimmerman to return to jail.
Zimmerman, 28, woke up today in a 9-foot by 7-foot isolation cell in the Seminole County jail today after surrendering Sunday. He was in shackles and wearing a bullet-proof vest after being taken into custody Sunday.
A judge ordered Zimmerman back into custody Friday after prosecutors presented jailhouse tapes of Zimmerman talking to his wife Shelly and allegedly discussing how much money was in his online defense fund. His wife told the court that they had no money to post for bail.
O'Mara said that he will seek a new bond hearing and that the couple intends to apologize to the judge.
"It's not again like they were trying to hide the money or leave with the money. They just had it... and felt like they needed to secure themselves," the lawyer said.
Zimmerman has about $193,000 in his defense fund, O'Mara said, and that about $20,000 has been spent on living expenses, hotels and security. Zimmerman has been in hiding because of death threats.
The amount of the money being donated has spiked since Friday when the judge ordered Zimmerman back to jail, O'Mara said.
When Zimmerman surrendered Sunday, his hair was longer and his face fleshier than when he was charged on April 11 with second degree murder in the death of the unarmed teenager.
His lawyer said that Zimmerman dreaded going back to jail. "He didn't like it when he was there … He's frustrated that he had to prove his own innocence."
The court had been expected today to release jailhouse tapes of Zimmerman and his wife discussing the financial status of the defense fund, but the tapes were not released.
A transcript of one on April 16 conversation shows the couple talking in what the prosecution said was a code meant to hide the amount of money available. For instance, when Shelly Zimmerman says $8.60, she really means $86,000, prosecutors contend.
George Zimmerman: "In my account do I have at least $100?"
Shelly Zimmerman: "No."
George Zimmerman: "How close am I?"
Shelly Zimmerman: "$8. $8.60."
George Zimmerman: "Really? So total everything how much are we looking at?"
Shelly Zimmerman: "Like $155."
Prosecutor Bernard De La Rionda noted Shelly Zimmerman actually meant $155,000.
Zimmerman has waived his right to a speedy trial, meaning that if he is denied bail he could spend nearly two years in isolation as the trial, which is not expected to begin in 2013, progresses.